1. They don't just put out firesFirefighters, despite their title, don't just put out fires! They actually spend most of their time responding to other emergencies like car crashes, floods or rail crashes. This means they all have a huge variety of skills that they use to save lives.Original content sourced from Femanin.comImage Source/ boredpandaForget the stereotypical image of firefighters just rescuing cats from trees. They're also the unsung heroes of the medical world. Need someone to swoop in and save the day during a medical emergency? Firefighters have got your back, complete with first aid kits.
2. They're not all men!You don't have to be a man to be a firefighter! There are lots of women who do the job too! We need to change the narrative that it's a 'boys club' and encourage more women to join! The equipment they carry now isn't quite as heavy as it used to be.Image Source/ TodayThe image of a firefighter has traditionally been associated with brawny men in heavy gear, but times are changing. Women are shattering stereotypes and proving that strength comes in many forms. The fire service is not about gender; it's about skill, dedication, and a passion for saving lives.
3. You never forget the first time you save a lifeSometimes their job puts them in awful situations, but sometimes those situations end positively. You can imagine it's a crazy amount of satisfaction and sense of achievement when you save a life. It never gets old, but the first time is always special.Image Source/ am New YorkSaving a life isn't just a professional accomplishment; it's a deeply emotional experience. The connection forged in those critical moments leaves an indelible mark. Firefighters often form profound and lasting bonds with the people whose lives they've touched.
4. You never forget your first big fireThe training is endless. You run through every possible situation and scenario you might encounter until it becomes a natural reaction, but the first, real fire you see will stay with you forever. It's a huge adrenaline rush and nothing can really prepare you for that.Image Source/ WikipediaThe adrenaline rush that accompanies facing a live fire is unparalleled. It's a surge of energy that propels firefighters into a heightened state of awareness and readiness. The training kicks in, but the intensity of the moment is something that can only be fully grasped in the midst of the flames.
5. It's not easy to describe what it's like to be inside a burning buildingIt's loud, it's hot and it's scary. Exactly as you'd expect. But the noises and heat is too hard to describe as it is not like anything you have ever experienced before. There will be lightbulbs exploding and temperatures so hot your sweat can evaporate and burn you!Image Source/ The New York TimesThe deafening roar of flames is like a primal symphony, a guttural crescendo that drowns out everything else. The crackling, the hissing, the relentless fury of the fire creates a disorienting and overwhelming soundscape that adds an extra layer of intensity to the situation.
6. Fires in films are not realistic at allThe huge, bright flames that light the way for firefighters in movies would be great... if it was actually true! Normally, it's pitch black and the rooms are full of smoke so you can't even see your hands in front of your face. You navigate with touch and hope for the best.Image Source/ InTimeReality sets in as firefighters enter a burning structure. The thick smoke generated by the fire blankets everything in pitch-black darkness, extinguishing any hope of relying on sight for navigation. It's a disconcerting experience where even the most familiar spaces become alien and foreboding.
7. People can be really, really stupidLike we said before, they don't just put out fires all the time. They can be called out to some really hilarious, or embarrassing if it's you calling, situations. You would be surprised how many people get private parts stuck in VERY peculiar places. How about a vacuum cleaner nozzle?Image Source/ Secret LondonIt's a tale as old as time (or at least as old as vacuum cleaners). Sometimes, curiosity can lead to, well, unfortunate situations. The fire department's involvement becomes a lifeline for those who find themselves in the grip of a vacuum cleaner gone rogue.
8. Christmas is the busiest time of the yearYou would think Bonfire Night would be a firefighters worst nightmare. Turns out it's actually Christmas! You wouldn't believe how many people accidentally set fire to themselves while trying to flambé their Christmas pudding! That's not to mention people leaving their fairy lights on or knocking over their Christmas candles...Image Source/ NPRChristmas pudding, a delightful holiday tradition, takes a dramatic turn for some adventurous chefs attempting the flambé technique. What starts as an attempt to add a touch of spectacle to the festive feast can occasionally result in a visit from the local fire department.
9. They are often haunted by some of the things they see at work...You never forget your first save or other positive achievements. You also never forget the sight of your first dead body... Unfortunately, that is something you have to deal with as a firefighter and it's not something you can just forget about. Luckily, they are offered a lot of support to cope with these sorts of situations.Image Source/ Fire RescueThe image of a first deceased person encountered in the line of duty is a memory that stays with a firefighter throughout their career. It serves as a reminder of the gravity of their responsibilities and the profound impact they have on the lives of those they serve.
10. They really do rescue cats from treesCats being stuck in trees sounds like a cliche, but it does actually happen and firefighters do actually rescue them! Along with dogs that have got stuck down manholes, squirrels stuck in drainpipes and loads of others! You name it, they have probably saved it!Image Source/ MetroManholes can be surprisingly tricky for our four-legged friends. Dogs, known for their adventurous spirit, might find themselves in tight spots. Firefighters step in, employing their expertise to safely retrieve dogs stuck in manholes or other confined spaces.
11. Full moon is a crazy timeNot everyone believes that a full moon has any impact on people's behaviour, but firefighters would disagree. All emergency services are busier than ever on a full moon, and they even plan for it now! There is no mention of werewolf encounters but plenty of other weird and wonderful full moon call outs...Image Source/ wtamuFull moons are often associated with an increase in emergency calls, keeping firefighters, police, and other first responders on their toes. The reasons behind this phenomenon remain a subject of speculation, but the trend is widely recognized in the emergency services community.
12. The (friendly) rivalry with the copsOften in movies, there is a rivalry between firefighters and the police. You would be forgiven for thinking this was just dramatised for the viewers, but apparently it is true! Although, the rivalry is mostly friendly, they work together on a lot of crime scenes and it's always a toss up on who is in charge of the scene.Image Source/ TodayDespite the playful competition, there is a deep-seated professional respect between firefighters and police officers. Both groups understand the challenges each faces in their respective roles and appreciate the unique skills and contributions each brings to the table.
13. They don't care if it's illegal!A lot of people might not know this! But firefighters are not law enforcers, so they won't do anything about any illegal activity, they leave that all to the police. They won't ask you many questions about how you got into your situation, they will just assume you're an idiot.Image Source/ RTFirefighters approach their work with a focus on helping people in distress. They generally assume positive intent and aim to provide assistance without passing judgment. The goal is to address the immediate needs of individuals and ensure a swift and effective emergency response.
14. They are (usually) one big, happy familyThey spend such a lot of time with their work colleagues, and also encounter such intense situations together that they end up forming close connections with everyone. This atmosphere at work much get everyone through the tough times. You'll often find everyone meeting up outside of work hours.Image Source/ Daily MailFirefighting is inherently a team-based activity. The success of their missions relies on effective communication, coordination, and a seamless understanding among team members. This emphasis on teamwork fosters a strong sense of unity and shared purpose.
15. Prepare to be prankedThey do spend a lot of time at the station, and they know how to get through those quiet periods. Pranks! Whether they are welcoming new recruits to the fold by hosing them down outside or filling colleague's lockers with rubbish, it's just their way of letting off steam.Image Source/ truTVFirefighters may engage in playful locker pranks, such as filling a colleague's locker with balloons, packing peanuts, or even harmless items like rubber chickens. It's a way of adding a touch of humor to the daily routine and keeping the atmosphere light.
16. Their uniform is HEAVYThe suits are helmets are made out of flame-retardant materials like kevlar, which weighs a lot. Add in an oxygen tank on your back and also carrying heavy tools and a hose, you can imagine how much the uniform weights and why you have to be in such good shape!Image Source/ The TimesThe turnout gear consists of a flame-resistant jacket and pants made from materials like Nomex or Kevlar. These materials are designed to withstand high temperatures and provide protection against flames. The gear also includes thermal liners to shield against heat.
17. Holding the hose is the best jobIt's actually a privilege to be the one holding the hose when putting out a fire. It will only be the most experienced firefighters that get to hold the hose and it's definitely the most fun job - which means everyone wants to do it! We can see why...Image Source/ PiqselsHolding and maneuvering a charged fire hose can be very physically demanding. It requires strength, endurance, and the ability to handle the water pressure. Firefighters who hold the hose need to be physically fit to perform their duties effectively.
18. Driving the fire engine is fun tooLet's not forget the big, red truck they get to drive! This is another sought after job that everyone wants to do. They like to share this job out, so everyone gets a turn. No one seems to mind that when they are driving the fire truck with all the sirens blaring, it is generally towards danger!Image Source/ KCRGFire departments typically rotate the responsibility of driving the fire truck among team members. This practice ensures that everyone gets a turn and that driving skills are distributed throughout the team. It reflects a spirit of collaboration and shared responsibility.
19. They are called out for no reason A LOTA lot of large buildings like hospitals and student halls that will be fitted with Automatic Fire Alarms. These can be triggered by anything from an actual fire to some burnt toast. The latter is quite frequent and the problem is that the whole team has to go out fully equipped and prepared for the worst.Image Source/ Business InsiderModern fire alarm systems are designed to be sensitive to the presence of smoke or elevated temperatures. While this sensitivity is essential for early detection of actual fires, it also means that they can be triggered by non-threatening events, such as burnt food or steam.
20. Not everyone understands what 'emergency' meansMost calls to firefighters are warranted and people genuinely need some help. Some people don't seem to know the definition of emergency though. Some people have genuinely phoned the fire department if they can't unlock their car or get an earring out of their ear...Image Source/ Birmingham LiveFirefighters are trained to respond with professionalism and empathy in all situations. Even when a call is not an emergency, providing assistance, guidance, and, if necessary, directing individuals to the appropriate services ensures a supportive and non-judgmental response.
21. No beards allowedYou will never see a male firefighter with any facial hair, because they are not allowed! You can't grow a big, bushy beard as it can get in the way of the helmet and also the all important breathing equipment they need to use. Who knew! You wouldn't take the risk would you...Image Source/ Firefighters CharityA proper seal between the firefighter's face and the breathing apparatus is essential to prevent the inhalation of smoke, toxic fumes, or other harmful substances. Facial hair, particularly a beard, can interfere with the seal and compromise the effectiveness of the equipment.
22. They're as underpaid as everyone elseFirefighters are up there with nurses for being underpaid. You would think risking your life every day and quite literally running into burning buildings would earn you a decent wage at least, but apparently not. The starting salary in the UK for firefighters is just over £22,000.Image Source/ Evening StandardCompensation structures for firefighters are often determined by government policies and collective bargaining agreements. Negotiations between firefighter unions and government bodies play a role in shaping salary levels, benefits, and working conditions.
23. They work really long shiftsImage Source/ ABC7 Los AngelesTwelve hour shifts are the norm for firefighters. That's a long time! They quite often end up working longer than this if they get a call right at the end of the day. Generally, you will work two day shifts then two night shifts, then you get four days off to recover.
24. People don't like to waitFirefighters are advised not to run with their equipment on, due to the weight of it. Some homeowners are not very understanding about this and can get a little impatient if they feel like they have been waiting too long. A lot of them have experienced a lot of abuse from homeowners throughout their careers.Image Source/ Derbyshire Fire and RescueSome homeowners may not fully understand the complexities of emergency response procedures. Fire departments engage in public education efforts to inform the community about the importance of allowing firefighters to work safely and efficiently during emergencies.
25. Yes, they really do get hit on all the timeThere is definitely an assumption that all firefighters are HOT. Maybe it's the uniform? They definitely report being hit on a lot. It doesn't matter where they are or what they're doing, they only need to be checking up on a smoke alarm but someone will hit on them! Or they think they're a stripper...Image Source/ Bored PandaStereotypes in popular culture can lead to assumptions about the personal lives of firefighters. These assumptions may include ideas about their relationship status, lifestyle, and even perceptions of them as "stripper" characters as they have been represented in movies!
26. Hoax calls are super regularA very, very dangerous problem is hoax calls made to the fire department. Every call out is treated seriously, and unless you are confident that it's fake, you can expect the force to be deployed as normal. While they're distracted by these fake emergencies, they aren't available to attend to the real ones.Image Source/ Warwickshire County CouncilDealing with hoax calls can have a negative impact on the morale of firefighting personnel. The frustration of responding to fake emergencies takes away from their ability to focus on genuine situations where their skills and training are critically needed.
27. Kids are the worstBored kids are the worst culprits for making hoax fire calls! There have even been instances when the fire fighters have been attacked with stones when they arrive at the so-called scene! This has even happened when they are trying to fight real fires...Image Source/ The MirrorThe wasted time and resources are tangible costs, and, in some instances, firefighters have faced a hostile reception upon arrival. Yes, you read that correctly – a rain of stones thrown at firefighters who, in their commitment to public safety, rushed to the scene believing they were dealing with a genuine emergency.
28. Most of their calls aren't even fire relatedActual fires are a much smaller proportion of the call outs than you think. Firefighters become whatever job they are needed to be, whether that's a plumber fixing broken pipes or an electrician rewiring a fire alarm. Plus, the huge amount of medical emergencies they attend.Image Source/ Quick CountryPicture firefighters as first responders on the scene, administering life-saving aid, providing crucial support until paramedics arrive, and ensuring that every precious moment counts. In essence, firefighters are the unsung heroes of a multitude of crises.
29. There are no slow days anymoreThere is a perception that during 'downtime' firefighters can sit around and play cards if there are no call outs. This is not true. Even on a 'slow day' they are still very busy! If there's no emergencies, there are still plenty of admin and routine tasks to be done.Image Source/ London Fire BrigadeSo, the next time you envision a fire station during a 'slow period,' shift the image from a leisurely card game to a hive of activity where firefighters are diligently attending to the myriad tasks that keep them well-prepared and the community well-informed.
30. They don't get any freebiesFirefighters pay for all of their own food, so don't believe otherwise. There is a misconception the taxpayers fund food for the station but that is definitely not true. They buy their own food to cook just like everyone else. They don't get any freebies!Image Source/ Omaha HeraldFrom planning nutritious meals to ensuring they have the essentials to sustain themselves during long shifts, this responsibility falls squarely on their shoulders. It's a tangible demonstration of their self-sufficiency and the commitment they bring to every aspect of their role.
31. A Firefighter's Uniform Can Deal With Up To 2200 DegreesObviously a firefighter's uniform is going to be made to withstand some serious heat, but the special material is so hardcore it can put up with temperatures up to a whopping 2200 degrees fahrenheit, in order to do what they do. The uniforms protect the fighter from acids and alkali absorption, too. This sort of temperature would set most materials on Earth on fire.Image Source / Bright SidePicture a firefighter entering a blazing inferno, surrounded by scorching heat and potential chemical hazards. The robust nature of their uniform becomes a literal lifesaver, providing a crucial barrier against the elements that would incapacitate or harm others.
32. Firefighters Shouldn't Have Any Facial Piercings EitherWe've already mentioned that firefighters aren't allowed to have big beards because it prevents the helmet and safety equipment being put on properly, but this also counts for facial piercings, too. Anything like a big lip ring, nose ring or eyebrow piercing could all prevent a mask from being fitted correctly. And the same goes for big bushy moustaches as well as beards!Image Source / RedditThese grooming regulations, though seemingly stringent, underscore the commitment to safety within the firefighting profession. The priority is to create an environment where every firefighter can operate with the highest level of protection, ensuring their well-being.
33. A Firefighter Can Be Carrying 5-30 KG At A TimeThe reason for the variation in kg is because it all depends on what their uniform is made of and what they have included in their uniform equipment wise. But the fact that they might have to wear and carry 30KG at a time goes without saying that you can only be a firefighter if you're physically fit.Image Source / RedditCarrying such a load becomes not only a physical challenge but also a testament to the strength, endurance, and overall fitness required for the job. Firefighters must be prepared to navigate through challenging environments, including climbing stairs, maneuvering through confined spaces, and carrying out rescues.
34. Molly Williams Was The First Female To Put Out FiresIn the beginning of the 19th century, a woman named Molly Williams became the first female in the world to put out fires on the same level as men. There were later separate fire brigades for women, but in this day and age, you can find any gender working on the same firefighting team.Image Source / WikipediaThe evolution from Molly Williams' groundbreaking efforts to the current landscape of mixed-gender firefighting teams signifies a positive shift towards recognizing and utilizing the diverse talents and capabilities of individuals, irrespective of gender.
35. Firefighters Need To Be Able To Cope With KidsWorking with kids in a variety of situations is a norm for a firefighter, and it's also a must-have to have a patience and sense of humour when dealing with them. Because not all situations can be life-threatening fires with kids involved - young kids can lock their parents out of cars and think it's hilarious while firefighters have to come and help!Image Source / Bright SideIn these instances, firefighters become not just problem-solvers but friendly faces for kids who might be intrigued or even a bit scared by the presence of these uniformed heroes. The ability to engage with children, whether it's addressing their concerns or sharing a lighthearted momen.
36. Firefighters Deal With Animals In Trouble On A Regular BasisWe know that a cat stuck up in a tree is the cliché firefighter situation, but in reality they can deal with many different types of animals being in many difficult situations! This can include cattle or farm animals being stuck in ditches or sewers even, or pets that have fallen into wells or even drainpipes.Image Source / Bright SidePicture a team of firefighters orchestrating a rescue operation to extricate a cow or other farm animals stuck in a ditch. The challenges are not only physical but also require strategic planning and a delicate touch to ensure the safety of both the rescuers and the animals involved.
37. Shifts Can Be 24 Hours LongEmergency situations and fire breakouts don't work on your schedule, so you'd expect a firefighter's shift to be very, very long. But usual shifts can actually last 24 hours! This how exhausting that must be. If a firefighter has worked 24 hours, they would usually get a 48 hour rest period. But during serious emergencies, they may work for over 24 hours without a break or rest day.Image Source / RedditThis structure acknowledges the physical and mental toll that a 24-hour shift can take and provides necessary time for recovery and recuperation. The intensity of firefighting work, coupled with the potential for prolonged periods of high-stakes situations, necessitates a balance that prioritizes both responsiveness and the well-being of the firefighters.
38. They Fold Their Uniforms In A Certain Way So They Can Easily Jump Into ThemWhen an emergency call comes through, firefighters don't have time to be dealing with a jacket that's inside out, a boot that's missing or their whole uniform in a chaotic heap. They fold and hang their uniform in a designated closet in a certain way that will let them slip right into it in the quickest way possible.Image Source / Bright SideFirefighters recognize the importance of efficiency in getting ready for action, and that starts with their uniform. Rather than dealing with the chaos of an inside-out jacket or a missing boot, firefighters adopt a methodical approach to preparing their uniform for quick deployment.
39. Back In The Day, People Wearing Wet Clothes Were Sent Into Burning BuildingsA technique that was actually used by Japanese firefighters in the past was to send in fighters who were wearing wet clothing so that they wouldn't catch fire while in the burning building. They'd be able to wait in there until the fire was then completely out. This technique was really effective in reducing those fire-related deaths.Image Source / WikipediaIn the context of historical firefighting methods, where protective gear may not have been as advanced as it is today, such improvisations underscore the total bravery and ingenuity of those who put their lives on the line to combat fires and save others.
40. Today, Water Is Brought In Cars InsteadThat technique has changed a little these days, where water is brought in cars instead. The amount of water brought is enough to last for up to 10 minutes. The water is used to give the firefighters more time to extinguish the fire, and they can then also use nearby pond water or hydrants to pump more water from.Image Source / RedditIn addition to the water brought in by vehicles, modern firefighting operations leverage nearby water sources, such as ponds or hydrants, to pump additional water for sustained firefighting efforts. This adaptability ensures that firefighters have access to a continuous supply of water.
41. A Larger, More Open House Will Burn As Quick As A MatchYou might think if you have a huge open-plan home, it might take a while for fire to spread compared to a small bedroom that would be quickly consumed by flames. But actually, a huge open space without many doors or walls will mean that fires will spread in the blink of an eye. It's walls and doors that help to stop a fire from spreading too quickly.Image Source / Bright SideConversely, in spaces with walls and doors, the fire's progression is hindered. Compartmentalization acts as a barrier, limiting the fire to the specific area where it originated and impeding its ability to quickly move to adjacent spaces. This containment is crucial for providing occupants with more time to evacuate.
42. Firefighters Can't Get You Thrown In Prison If You Start A FireFirefighters are actually more likely to be blamed legally for damage caused during a fire, rather than you being sent to prison for a fire. After a fire is put out, investigators need to work out what happened, and how effective the fire-fighting was - and if the fire-fighting was carried out in a legal way.Image Source / WikipediaWhich means if any of their actions look as though they've caused damage that could have been avoided, it can be taken to court. While firefighters are generally protected by laws that recognize the challenging nature of their work and the inherent uncertainties they face, legal scrutiny can arise.
43. Lots Of Fires Are Put Out By Volunteers Rather Than Qualified FirefightersIn a lot of countries, the government doesn't have the budget to fund as many firefighters as it might need, which means a lot of the brave people tackling fires can be volunteers. Volunteers can get special firefighting training, but it all depends on the country you're volunteering in.Image Source / RedditSome countries offer the training for a free, others require you to have higher education. The commitment of volunteer firefighters reflects a strong sense of community service, and their contributions are invaluable in ensuring the safety and well-being of local residents.
44. Dalmatians Used To Be Used By The Fire BrigadeIn times gone by, the dog breed Dalmatian used to work with the fire department! Dalmatians would run to clear the way ahead for horses to get through by barking. The Dalmatian in particular as a breed is known for bravery, which checks out. The Dalmatian is still the 'dog symbol' of firefighters.Image Source / RedditBut other breeds can now be used for the service, to find people easily in an emergency situation. Different breeds are chosen based on their specific skills, temperament, and suitability for the tasks at hand, reflecting the evolving needs and capabilities of contemporary firefighting practices.
45. Around 100 Firefighters A Year Are Arrested For Starting Fires!Yep, that's right - the people responsible for putting out the fires can also be the ones starting them! Around 100 firefighters a year are arrested for starting fires - and this is because some arsonists decide to become firefighters so that they can get the thrill of starting fires. Luckily, they haven't given the actual brave firefighters a bad rep.Image Source / RedditFirefighting organizations and law enforcement agencies take arson seriously, and efforts are made to prevent, investigate, and prosecute cases involving intentional fire-setting. Such incidents not only pose a threat to public safety but also undermine the trust and reputation of the profession.
46. Benjamin Franklin Was Actually Responsible For The First Fire Company In PhiladelphiaOne of the founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, created the very first fire company in Philadelphia, USA. The firefighters working for this company would be known as Benjamin Franklin's Bucket Brigade! Every month they would meet up to discuss tactics and techniques for fighting fires.Image Source / WikipediaThe legacy of Benjamin Franklin's efforts in firefighting can still be seen today in the organized fire departments and firefighting techniques that have evolved over the centuries. Franklin's contributions not only helped protect communities from the devastating impact of fires.
47. It Takes 100 Hours Of Training For A FirefighterTraining to be a firefighter is going to be very physically intense, and it's going to take a lot of know-how to safely tend to burning buildings and other emergencies. That's why firefighters must go through 100 hours of training before they can be legally allowed to enter a burning building safely. Without those hours, they wouldn't be allowed inside.Image Source / WSETDuring these training hours, aspiring firefighters typically cover a wide range of topics, including fire behavior, hazard identification, the use of firefighting equipment, search and rescue techniques, emergency medical procedures, and of course, teamwork.
48. Firefighters Have Less Than Two Minutes To Get Their Gear OnAs mentioned earlier, firefighters set their gear out in a specific way to get the uniform on as quickly as possible - and that's because they only have two minutes max to get everything on before heading out to an emergency! So that's less than two minutes to get all those heavy items on, get their trousers, boots and helmet on and get out the door.Image Source / WikipediaAdditionally, they need to secure their self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and other equipment necessary for firefighting tasks. This efficient and organized approach to gearing up is not only about saving time but also ensuring that each element of the protective gear is properly secured.
49. Heart Attacks Are More Likely To Kill Firefighters Than FiresIn battling fires, you'd think a fire would be the thing most likely to threaten a firefighter's life, wouldn't you? Well actually, heart attacks are the number one killer of firefighters. You could take into account the life-threatening and stressful situations they're put under when fighting fires, so it's 12 times more likely for one to have a heart attack on duty.Image Source / Fire Brigades Union
The increased risk of heart attacks while on duty, as you mentioned, underscores the importance of prioritizing firefighters' health and well-being. Fire departments often implement wellness programs that include regular health check-ups, fitness training, and stress management.
50. There's Actually An International Firefighters CompetitionWho knew that you could compete against other firefighters to see who's best at putting one out? This international competition is worldwide, and a mean to test how good firefighters are at their jobs. This includes how well they react to natural disasters and devastating emergencies like wildfires. The winner would be named the world's best firefighter - that's quite the title!
Image Source / Awesome Stuff 365
Participating in such international competitions not only recognizes the hard work and dedication of firefighters but also serves as a platform for continuous learning and improvement within the firefighting community. The events celebrate the vital role firefighters play in ensuring public safety.