Firefighters: the different operational specialties

Categories: Blog

Just like the job of gendarme, the firefighter profession opens the door to many operational specialties. After several years of service, firefighters may decide to specialize. But to hope to join these units. They will first have to face a fierce internal selection and undergo a demanding training.

If the daily missions of firefighters focus above all on the victim relief (around 80% of interventions), some units are specially trained to intervene in very specific situations. Let’s discover the main operational specialties of firefighters.

Summary :

Intervention in a Perilous Environment

climbing firefighters

This unit is made up of hazardous environment intervention group (GRIMP) as well as the Urban Search and Rescue Unit (RSMU). These units intervene when the traditional means of firefighters are not suitable or sufficient. This can be due to the height, the depth or even to the difficulty of access of the places. They are also the ones who specialize in helicopter operations. They master techniques traditionally used in mountaineering or in potholing. The marine firefighters of Marseille, for example, have a recognized and very effective perilous environment intervention unit. the GRIMP de Marseille thus has 4 machines for 85 people. This unit carries out several hundred interventions per year.

The long-term exploration group (GELD)

This unit is specialized in environments with stale or burning atmosphere in natural or artificial sites, known for their complexity or their cramped nature. As the name suggests, these specialists are called for particularly long interventions. They may thus be called upon to intervene in the following environments:

  • underground car parks,

  • tunnels,

  • ships,

  • underground stations,

  • underground quarries,

  • …etc.

For these interventions, the firefighters are equipped with closed-circuit insulating breathing apparatus.

CBRN risk specialists

The specialty of Nuclear, Radiological, Biological and Chemical (NRBC) risks brings together two mobile cells, one forchemical intervention (CMIC) and another for theradiological intervention (CMIR). These specialists mainly carry out antipollution and / or decontamination missions: removal of doubts, leaks, accidental or malicious spills, industrial fires, toxic clouds, etc. The firefighters are not the only ones to have a special unit for CBRN risks. Indeed, the Army also has personnel specially trained in these risks in the 2nd regiment of dragoons.

The cynotechnical teams of the firefighters

cynotechnical team of firefighters

Composed of pairs of dogs and handlers, the cynotechnical teams of firefighters are called upon to collaborate with the rescue and clearing teams for the search for buried people. They are also essential for the rescue and search of lost people via tracking and questioning. Thanks to their sense of smell, dogs intervene to detect and locate people, conscious or not, who do not or no longer have the capacity to appear through noise or calls for help.

These specialists are also called on animal missions which require specific means and techniques: animal rescues, captures of dangerous or wild animals, etc.

Rescue clearance (SD)

The firefighters specializing in rescue and clearing intervene for the recognition, rescue and securing of collapsed sites (land movements, building collapse, road accidents, etc.). In collaboration with the cynotechnical teams, they are called to rescue buried victims.

Specialists in aquatic and underwater intervention

This nautical component of firefighters regroup the light autonomous divers (SAL) and firefighters trained in aquatic rescue (SAV). The nautical specialists of the firefighters are called upon to master a wide range of skills ranging from boat driving, to rescue and search in aquatic or underwater environments and to support during natural disasters such as floods.

The specialized units of firefighters are constantly evolving. They merge or develop to follow changes in risks and techniques. continuously adapts to the needs of these men and women firefighters. Find thousands of products from the biggest brands at the best price on our store.