Jumpseat Ready: What does it mean?

Views from the jumpseat was born from the 2009 Firehouse Expo in Baltimore.

New Firefighter Climbing

As the conference progressed, I noticed that the views from the street level firefighter was missing.  The fire service is a lot like the military and other services where we all start in the same place.  It just so happens that all firefighters start in the jumpseat.

Can you remember your first day?  Walking into the fire station is like walking into a new world.  From the terminology we use to the bond between us, few places share these traits like the fire service.

Before we can step foot on to the fire truck we must go through, our version, of basic training.  From basics of firefighting to ems and hazmat there is a certain level of training that you must meet before your respond.  This training makes you “Jumpseat Ready”.

During your first exposure to the fire service is when you should be developing good habits, acquiring knowledge, and building a foundation of skills that will last throughout your career.  Building the base of skills is just the beginning of becoming jumpseat ready.  It takes a commitment to improving constantly.

Just because you had completed your basic training and was allowed to run calls did you stop learning and training?  No should be the answer to that question as the basic are just that, the beginning.  Being a jumpseat ready firefighter is being committed to pushing forward and improving your skill set no matter how many years of service!


From the first day to the last day we all should take the mentality of the first day firefighter looking to prove that they are truly ready to enter the fire service, eyes open and soaking in everything new and exciting. Just because you have done this job for five, ten, or more years does not give you the right to slack off on your skills.  Fighting fires is a dynamic business that introduces new tactics, materials, and building construction every day.  If you are not keeping up with these facts, you are letting someone down!


Choose to make every day that you ride on a fire truck a day to be “Jumpseat Ready”.  Just like the first call, you should strive to make the next call just the same, full of eagerness, passion, and drive to become a good firefighter.

Bunker up, Buckle in, it’s where we all begin!