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Marine Firefighter

Put out fires in boats or offshore platforms.

What does a Marine Firefighter do?

The job of a Marine Firefighter is steeped in dichotomy: you’re on a vessel out at sea, surrounded by water, and yet you’re charged with making sure that it does not catch fire. Being so far from help for long periods of time means that the fate of everyone on board often rests on your shoulders. Though the Marine Firefighter job originally emerged during the era of huge steamships, modern seagoing vessels are still powered by immense engines that can easily catch fire and consume the entire craft.

As a Marine Firefighter, you’re part Seaman and part Firefighter. You live on a craft for days or weeks at a time, rotating your duty hours with other trained Firefighters. A good eye for detail and an adherence to strict standards of safety and security are important. Expect lots of checklists and safety drills to make sure that everything you do is 100 percent correct-because out at sea, where anything can happen, 99 percent just isn’t good enough.

As with any marine job, space is at a premium, so expect close quarters. You need to respect the authority and experience of those above you, and take orders seriously at all times because any order can spell the difference between life and death. Ship technology is also always changing, so you need to have a commitment to ongoing learning in order to stay current and effective in your job.