There are times I really get tired of my job. You probably know the feeling; you wake up one particular morning and your head hurts at the prospect of another day at the office.

Yet though I might complain from time to time and have days where all I want to do is stay in bed and watch TV, I never have to worry about my work putting me in harm’s way.

There’s a lot to be said for that, even if it’s not something most of us stop to consider every day. Indeed, it’s easy to forget that there exist professions out there that aren’t just mentally challenging, but also actively hazardous for the people who do them.

Being a firefighter is one. Personally, I don’t think firefighters get enough credit for the bravery they show simply in turning up for their shift each day, but there’s a photo doing the rounds online at the moment that quite rightly pushes firefighters – and awareness as to the insane conditions they’re sometimes expected to operate in – to the fore…

When I was younger, I dreamt of being a firefighter – if my NBA career never took off, that is – but these days I’m rather happy to have other people doing it in my stead.

Call me cowardly, but there are few things I’d relish less than the task of charging headfirst into a burning building.

Fortunately for society, not everyone is of the same mindset as I am. There are brave souls who regularly risk their lives to save others and limit casualties whenever fires break out or serious accidents occur.

Credit / Shutterstock – Gorodenkoff

And we’re not only referring to pulling people out of burning cars of entering apartment blocks engulfed in flames – both heroic acts, it must be said – but also those times when firefighters are tasked with combatting one of nature’s most terrifying, destructive forces: wildfires.

If you live in a country where wildfires occur, you’ll likely be all too familiar with the damage they can cause. Of course, they don’t simply stop burning on their own, and left to run riot they will destroy virtually everything in their path.

That’s where firefighters come in. Instead of fleeing the affected areas, as everyone else is advised to do, they charge in to do their utmost in an attempt to halt the advance of the fires, saving countless lives in the process.

Credit / Shutterstock – Toa55

A few years ago one such wildfire was raging in Portugal, requiring the skills of a combined 1,150 firefighters to slow its spread.

The apocalyptic scene was frightening to behold, but it did produce a rather incredible photograph that paid testament to the incredible work firefighters do to keep people safe.

As per reports, a man named Pedro Brás posted the image, along with the caption: “After a night and a day fighting the Góis Forest Fire we were entitled to 25 minutes of river beach, although it was covered by smoke.”

The picture in question showed a group of firefighters sleeping on a lawn, so overcome by exhaustion that they had pretty much dropped where they stood in order to get some rest.

Facebook / Pedro Bras

According to Pedro, the firefighters took a short break of 25 minutes after working nonstop for 24 hours to fight the wildfire.