A professional firefighter is a person who is employed full-time to fight fires and typically has no other job. Contrary to popular belief, professional firefighters spend little time actually firefighting or providing emergency medical services. Most of their work consists of equipment maintenance (particularly of apparatus), in-service training, fire inspections, community education, and contingency planning for fires and disasters. As they sleep in the fire station to be available 24/7 to respond to calls, they often have the unjust reputation of being lazy. Some professional firefighters disapprove of volunteer firefighters because they are undertrained and take jobs away from career firefighters.

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