A day in the life of a Naperville firefighter

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Join hosts Nathan and Paige Ronchetti as they tour Naperville Fire Station No. 8 with Deputy Chief Phil Giannattasio and Division Chief John Sergeant. They learn what a typical 24-hour shift looks like for the men and women who serve in the Naperville Fire Department.

Naperville Fire Department shifts begin at seven in the morning

Firefighter work shifts run 24 hours on the job and 48 hours off. During their 24 hours on the job, firefighters must be ready to head out in the fire apparatus with very short notice. Speakers are in every firehouse room, alerting the crew when a 9-1-1 call comes in. 

The shift begins like many jobs: grabbing a hot coffee and debriefing with coworkers! The fire personnel head into the kitchen and day room to speak with the off-going crew. The internal communication is crucial to maintain a smooth-running operation. Like in a typical home, someone has to stock the fridge and purchase necessary supplies. Each on-duty firefighter brings in “lunch money,” which goes towards grocery expenses. 

In the day room, fire department personnel can decompress, watch TV, chat, study for school, and complete homework. It provides firefighters a comfortable common room to relax and enjoy downtime between calls. 

Where do firefighters sleep?

The next stop on the tour was the firehouse bunk rooms. The individual rooms provide comfortable sleeping quarters for each firefighter on duty. The room includes a bed, lockers for uniforms or personal items, and a small desk. Division Chief John Sergeant pointed out the ceiling speakers and lights because even in the middle of the night, firefighters must be alert and ready to serve the community. Utilizing the alert system in every room ensures that a firefighter never misses a call and maintains a stellar response time. 

Naperville’s firefighters must maintain physical fitness

Because firefighting is such a physically demanding job, it is of the utmost importance that firefighters are physically fit to meet the daily demands of the call of duty. Because of this, each Naperville fire station has an on-site gym with a plethora of equipment to choose from. 

Being physically able to perform various procedures is at the very core of Naperville’s firefighter training, where each eligible firefighter must pass what is known as the CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test), which sets the minimum standard for firefighters. 

Fire engines do more than just fight fires

The last stop on the tour was the engine bay. Fire station no. 8 has one truck equipped to fight fires and provide paramedic aid. City-wide, the Naperville Fire Department can see anywhere from 45 to 100 calls a day.  Each shift, every firefighter thoroughly checks over their gear and the life-saving tools on the fire engine. 

This year the Naperville Fire Departmemt is celebrating it’s 150th anniversary.