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Want to be a firefighter?


A recruiting poster for the Tokyo Fire Department is seen at a subway station on the Oedo Line in Tokyo.

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Want to be a firefighter?

For how much?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

For how much?

The posters says Metropolitan Volunteer Fire Corps so it's a reasonable assumption there's no pay. You might get a couple of onigiri and a carton of green tea, though.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In my part of the countryside, it's pretty much compulsory for young men to join. We have other community organizations, and at one of them, the festival committee, I hear plenty of stories about bullying in the fire brigade. They also have many training sessions for fire brigade Olympics, which are taken far too seriously. Only some of the training for these games is related to actual firefighting. Some, like playing the trumpet, has no connection at all.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Great.  Offers plenty of opportunity for fun and excitement.  and mischief.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a foreigner I fought for ten years to join the Tokyo Metropolitan Volunteer Fire Corps with my wife advocating on my behalf. I was finally given the opportunity to interview and eventually joined two years ago.

We don’t get paid. But meals and drinks are provided and we get equipment. I have never been bullied. It’s been just the opposite. Most of the skills required are learned on the job. My fellow firefighters have been kind and patient, giving me tips and supporting me when I’ve struggled to master the necessary skills.

Volunteer firefighters respond to 119 calls whenever we are able, whether it’s the middle of the night or the middle of the day. We go to schools to teach fire safety, work with the local community to support events, respond to fires and other emergencies. During typhoon Faxai we worked day and night. First to identify potential hazards and then to do foot patrol and respond to emergencies and clear drains to prevent flooding during the worst of the typhoon. We were up until 7:00AM and I had to go to my main job at 8:00AM.

The cool thing is that there is a whole community of firefighters. There’s the elite Rapid Rescue, the firefighters, the volunteer firefighters, the women’s Corp that specializes in first aid, irregular community volunteers, retired firefighters and even a kids troupe that trains in fire safety and first aid. In the event of a national disaster, the system that the Japanese have put in place will truly shine.

6 ( +6 / -0 )


Thanks for telling about how it was to be part of the firefighters in Japan, there were lots of things I didnt know about it.

Congratulations for your hard work!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Japanese Firefighting Dept. is world renown for its excellent skills and discipline. They are considered as one of the best on planet Earth. Given the geographic location and the nature of the 'Japanquakes' that occur every say every 2 years or so, such a well-disciplined fire brigade force is a necessity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When I was a teenager in the UK I did something called the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Bronze, Silver and Gold. Part of my training was to attend the local fire station once a week for a lecture. Whenever I have seen the Japanese firefighters at work I have always been impressed especially with so many small roads and streets needing smaller trucks.

It was the Tokyo Firefighter who went to Fukushima to try and cool the reactors. brave boys.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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