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A firefighter, fireman, or firewoman, is a person who is trained and equipped to put out fires, rescue people, pets, aid and assist during natural disasters and, increasingly, provide emergency medical services. The fire service, also known in some countries as the fire brigade or fire department, is one of the emergency services.

Fire fighting is the process and profession of extinguishing fires. Firefighting and firefighters have become ubiquitous around the world, from urban areas to wildland areas, and on board ships. Not all firefighters are paid for their services. In some countries, including the United States, Canada, Finland, Australia, and New Zealand, there are often paid, or "career" ("professional" is falling out of popular usage due to the perception that non-paid volunteers would thus be termed "unprofessional"), firefighters working alongside volunteer and "call" or "retained" (firefighters who are paid for the specific time they are responding to emergencies) firefighters. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the use of retained firefighters (who are part-time, but are paid when on duty) rather than volunteers is standard. In Germany, volunteer fire departments are standard only cities of more than 100,000 are required to have a paid fire department, though even some of these cities have Volunteer departments...

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