Middle and High School

Your generation is the future of our community and PFRES. It’s never too early to plan ahead and prepare. What you do right now makes a difference in shaping your opportunities just around the corner.

What can you do NOW?

  • Stay out of trouble: Firefighters and Paramedics are entrusted with protecting property, the environment, and our neighbors’ very lives! We are also trusted with millions of dollars of equipment to be able to answer calls for aid. To maintain that trust, PFRES members must have a clean Criminal and Driving Record. It’s also vitally important to have a reputation of integrity, honor, and courage.
  • Become active in your school and where you live: Our motto is “Focus on the Community.” Being involved in school activities and around your neighborhood will prepare you for a career of doing the same. Learn everything you can about your community and the people in it. Play sports to remain physically active. Join clubs and teams to gain valuable teamwork and leadership skills. Firefighters and paramedics above all strive to serve, so look for opportunities to volunteer.
  • Visit a fire station: See where we live and work while on duty. Observe first-hand the fire vehicles, equipment and tools we use. Ask a firefighter or paramedic about their day to day job from answering calls, to preparing meals, training, and maintaining equipment. Listen to the stories of why they joined our family and how they achieved that goal.
  • Join the Youth Fire Academy: to get a hands on, inside look of the career.

  • Study hard in school and get your High School Diploma or GED: Employment by the City of Portsmouth requires it. Not to mention, what you learn in school today is the foundation of the specialized training you will receive as a firefighter or paramedic. Being a first responder means to constantly train and learn so we can provide the best service possible.


                                                   ...And can help you rescue others tomorrow

  • Science: Fighting fire is the real world collision of chemistry and physics. Learning all you can about these subjects will help you in understanding how to prevent and fight fires. Paramedics use their knowledge of Chemistry, Biology, and Anatomy & Physiology to understand how to help sick and injured people. Hazardous Materials team members use their specialized knowledge in biology, natural science, and chemistry to protect the public and the environment. The Technical Rescue team uses their extensive knowledge in physics to rescue people in danger high above the ground, or trapped below it. They also use that info to cut out victims trapped in collapsed buildings and smashed cars!
  • Math: On a fire scene, firefighters have to be able to calculate pump pressures and water volumes to ensure that there is enough water to put the fire out. They also need to know how to calculate angles for smaller ground ladders and huge ladder trucks to safely rescue victims. Paramedics have to determine the amount of medicine to give to patients and to collect patient vitals. It’s extremely important to be able to do this math quickly and accurately.
  • English and Reading: Firefighters and Paramedics have to study quite a bit to succeed in our profession. We are presented with technical and medical information that requires us to be able to read and comprehend quickly to make immediate decisions on scene. Additionally, documentation is required for every single response. These reports serve as legal documents that must clearly and accurately detail what actions we took, when we took them, and why.
  • Foreign Languages: Our society is a tapestry of varying cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Since our communities are diverse, it’s imperative that we are able to interact with respect and sensitivity to their individual needs. Within our city limits, there are two international marine terminals, military installations, and residents from around the world. Since emergencies can affect anyone at any time, not all of our visitors and residents are going to be able to communicate in English. Since communication is vital to understanding what is wrong and how firefighters and paramedics can help, it’s important that we have members that know languages in addition to English.