Can You Blaze Through This Firefighting Quiz in 7 Minutes?


By: Kale Havervold

6 Min Quiz

Image: tomazl / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Firefighters are real-life heroes and risk their lives every day for the greater good. Whether it is responding to accidents, running into burning buildings, or putting out fires, firefighters do it all. They undergo difficult training (both mentally and physically) to ensure they are ready and prepared for anything.

While we know they put out fires and save lives, how much do you actually know about firefighting? How much do you know about the tactics, rules and procedures that they abide by? For example, are you aware of the first thing a firefighter has to do before entering a burning building? How about who takes charge on a call?

Also, to be a firefighter, you need to know a variety of different things from the different classifications of fire, to the correct way to carry someone out of a building that is engulfed in flames. Whether you want to prove your knowledge of all things firefighting to your friends, or simply want to learn more about these heroes, this is the right quiz for you.

Without any further ado, get your turnout gear on and prepare to take on our challenging quiz. Will you go up in flames or douse the fire on your way to victory?

Which firefighting tool is used to pry open a car door that won't open?

If firefighters need to save someone from a mangled vehicle at the scene of a crash, they will use the Jaws of Life. It is a hydraulic apparatus that can pry apart the vehicle to free someone from the wreckage.


PPE is incredibly important to firefighters. It is an acronym for _________.

PPE stands for personal protective equipment. It is essentially any type of protective gear, clothing or helmets. They can protect from a range of different things, such as chemicals, heat and more.


Certain firefighters will wear different colored helmets. What does this mean?

At most fire stations, the colors of the helmets will signify the rank, position or seniority of a firefighter. For example, a white helmet often identifies a chief, and red normally signifies a captain.


Which of these medical emergencies should likely require a first responder to perform CPR?

In general, CPR is used to help get the heart to begin pumping blood through the body again. While someone with a broken bone might require it, nearly every heart attack will require CPR to save the victim.


What does it mean if a fire is smoldering?

If a fire is smoldering, it means it is only burning with some smoke, no fire. A fire could potentially be smoldering for hours, or even days, before it is noticed, due to the lack of flames.


What do firefighters do when they're not on a call?

While the main part of a firefighter's job is to fight fires, there is much more that they are responsible for doing. The aforementioned tasks are only a few of what most firefighters will need to do.


When air heats up, what happens to it?

Like most things, when air is heated to an appropriate amount, it will expand. Molecules will also move faster, and hot air will often float upward. That is essentially how hot air balloons are able to fly.


What is the incident commander in charge of doing?

An incident commander is one of the most important people on the fire company when it arrives at a scene. They develop objectives, are responsible for everyone else and manage all operations.


Which of these is not found in smoke?

Smoke is made up of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. Of course, smoke can also contain a wide range of different chemicals depending on what is burning.


Which of these legendary figures was responsible for helping create one of the first fire departments in the USA?

Benjamin Franklin helped to found the very first fire department in the United States. The Union Fire Company in Philadelphia was founded in 1736 and stayed active until around 1820.


In firefighting, what is the two-in/two-out rule?

Going into a burning building or an accident scene is very dangerous. To help try to minimize the danger, firefighters always enter these situations with someone else and never alone.


What is the name for the correct way a firefighter should lift someone and remove them from a dangerous situation?

As you might be able to tell from the name, the correct way for a firefighter to lift someone and take them to safety is known as the fireman's carry. It allows a person to carry another without the help of anyone else.


If someone is unconscious at the scene of an accident, what is the very first thing a firefighter needs to do?

There are many important things that a firefighter needs to do at the scene of the accident. However, the very first is to check the breathing of any victims. If they are not breathing, you need to perform CPR or another method to try restore their breathing.


Sometimes a "salvage operation" must take place after a fire. What is this?

There are many phases and stages of a firefight, and one of the last is a salvage operation. This is when firefighters will go through a burnt area and see if there is anything that can be saved or salvaged.


How many times a minute will an average adult's heart beat?

The average rate for an adult heartbeat is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. This will vary depending on a number of things, but anything between that range is normal. Some extreme athletes, however, might see theirs drop a bit lower.


If brain cells don't have access to oxygen, around how long will it take them to die?

Unfortunately, if your brain cells do not have access to oxygen, you don't have much time before they will begin to die. In general, brain cells can only go about 6 minutes without oxygen.


There are many different stages of a fire. What is the incipient stage?

When a fire is just starting, it is in the incipient stage. At this point, a fire is still able to be controlled or completely extinguished, but it is also well on its way to potentially becoming a larger problem.


You notice an accident victim has charred skin, what degree of burn do they likely have?

Burns come in different levels of severity, with third-degree burns being the worst that a person can have. If someone has skin that is charred, that is a telltale sign that they have suffered from a third-degree burn.


How many NYC firefighters died in the Sept. 11 attacks?

Of the near 3,000 people who died in the 9/11 attacks, 343 of them were firefighters who put their lives on the line to try to save the civilian victims of the terrorist attacks.


What is the most common and dangerous aspect of completing a salvage operation?

While completing a salvage operation isn't ever easy, the most important thing you need to look out for is a collapsing roof. There is a good chance the structural integrity of the roof has been negatively affected, and that could cause it to collapse.


Which of the following symptoms is not associated with someone suffering from heatstroke?

Ironically enough, someone who is suffering from heatstroke will likely not be sweating. It is this inability to sweat — for whatever reason — that is a major cause of people overheating. Sweating helps cool us off.


How old is the average firefighter in the USA?

According to Data USA, the average firefighter is 38.6 years old. The average male firefighter is 38.7, while the average female firefighter is a bit younger at 36.3 years old.


House fires are relatively common. How many occur annually in the USA alone?

According to NFPA reports, there are around 350,000 house structure fires in the USA alone every year. These start for a number of reasons and can lead to expensive repairs, injuries or worse.


Of the following, which is not a type of fire hydrant?

Toggle, slide-gate and compression fire hydrants are all real and exist today. They all fall under the term "dry barrel" as the entire waterline is all under the ground and thus not prone to frost.


Many fire stations feature volunteer firefighters. What percentage of firefighters in the USA are volunteers?

According to an NFPA report, about 70% of all firefighters in the USA are volunteers. While there are volunteers in large cities, it is usually the smaller towns that have a volunteer fire department.


How heavy is the gear that firefighters wear while out on a call?

The weight of firefighting gear can vary greatly. It weighs at least 45 pounds for the basics, but if you need to add extra items like a radio, axes and other things, it can weigh well over 100 pounds.


How many Americans die in house fires in a year?

According to the USFA and its data, well over 3,000 Americans die every year from house fires alone. This is troublesome and, unfortunately, hasn't shown any signs of going down.


What is the most common cause of home fires in the USA?

While all the listed methods certainly start fires, cooking is the largest contributor to home fires in the USA. Leaving ovens or stoves on is incredibly common and can lead to dangerous house fires.


What is the normal breathing rate for an adult?

While it varies from person to person, anyone with a breathing rate between 12 to 20 breaths per minute is usually within the normal range. Any higher or lower than that could be a cause for concern.


What is the normal rate of breathing for infants?

Like adults, there is a range that is considered "normal" breathing for infants. In general, that is between 30 and 60 breaths a minute. Any more or less, and you should consider consulting a doctor.


The techniques used for CPR are different for adults and children. How old should a victim be before adult techniques are used on them?

While 8 year olds are still considered children, that is the age where you can begin using adult CPR techniques on individuals. While there are similarities, adult techniques are not quite the same as child or infant techniques.


Of all of the firefighters in the USA, what percentage of them are women?

Of the many firefighters working in the USA, only about 4% of them are female. While this might seem low, it is actually an improvement from the past, but there is still a lot of room for improvement in that department.


Where is the correct place to check the pulse of an infant who is awake and responsive?

When checking the pulse of an infant who is completely responsive and awake, you check their brachial artery. This is located on the infant's arm, between the elbow and the shoulder.


How many different classifications of fire are there in the U.S.?

There are five classes of fire in the U.S.. Each class has different characteristics and different methods for suppressing them if they are to occur. The fire classes are A, B,C, D and K.


What is the first thing you should do if you notice a victim who has a broken leg but is breathing?

While you might think the first thing to do is immobilize the injury, you would be wrong. First, it is important to stop any bleeding before immobilizing, as blood loss can contribute to many issues and potentially even death.


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