Firefighters led CareerCast's 2010 list of most stressful jobs [source: CareerCast]. Emergency medical technicians often show up on other lists.
Workers in both jobs often work at the same emergency settings, and their jobs are similar enough to share a ranking.
Firefighters and EMTs often work long hours. Sometimes, they're simply on duty without answering any calls, but often they miss a lot of sleep. These jobs also can cost workers a lot of family time.
Time spent in the station, working on equipment, training or just passing the time can suddenly be interrupted by an emergency call that requires immediate action. Firefighters and EMTs are often in physical danger themselves. They must deal with people who are injured, frightened or grieving. They're likely to see gruesome scenes that may haunt their nightmares. Too often, they must deal with the reality of losing someone or someone's home that they tried to save.
If that wasn't enough, firefighters and EMTs generally don't make much. Danger plus meager pay equals a stressful job.
Some jobs may be so stressful that they drive workers to suicide. Keep reading to find out more.