Firefighters provide prevention and emergency services for the purpose of saving lives, counteracting the consequences of environmental accidents and saving property. In this way, firefighters serve a multifaceted function with the public, companies and institutions in each area of operation. Firefighter is a certified professional title.

As a firefighter, you may need to break through roofs, open ceilings and walls where embers can be hidden, and provide sentry duties after a fire has been extinguished. Firefighters collaborate extensively with other professions such as healthcare professionals, police, rescue services, the coast guard and civil defence.

Main tasks

• putting out fires and saving people and livestock from burning
• ambulance duties
• prevention and fire control
• response to pollution incidents
• civil defence
• saving valuables
• rescuing people from the sea and lakes
• rescuing people in uninhabited areas
• various incidental assistance to the public

Competence requirements

Firefighters must meet strict physical training requirements and undergo regular fitness tests. Firefighters are also expected to complete a variety of courses related to the job, such as over-ignition, smoke diving, toxicological treatment, on-site organization and the use of thermal cameras. In addition, licensed firefighters must have completed a course on machinery.

Firefighters work with a variety of equipment related to accident assistance, telecommunications and smoke diving. The job includes pump vehicles, cart vehicles and ladder vehicles, hand fire extinguishers, hoses and foam equipment.


Mannvirkjastofnun operates a Fire Academy that provides education and training for firefighters. This involves both distance learning and traditional teaching, which mainly consists of courses that are held around the country.


The program is divided into the following components:

  • Training of professional firefighters
  • Training of part-time firefighters
  • Training of fire safety inspectors
  • Continuing education
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