Emergency Worker Books for All Ages

Police, Firefighters, EMTs and more! Emergency workers are an important part of our well-being as a society. They are also fascinating for kids of all ages. If you have a little or big kid in your family who’s fascinated by our modern heroes, check out some of these books.

If you want even more ways to learn about Firefighters and Police officers, check out our Emergency Workers Unit Study.

Books in bold were our favorites.


Picture Books

  • Police Officers on Patrol – This little rhyming book is full of action as the officers work together to keep the town safe.
  • I Want to Be a Police Officer (A level 1 I Can Read Book) – The fun illustrations help tell the easy to read story of how police officers help us all over town.
  • A Day in the Life of a Police Officer – This is an old book from my childhood and is no longer in print. It chronicles the day of a police officer and explains the things she does both on and off duty. I did find some used copies at the time of writing this, so I’ve included the link just in case there are still more copies.
  • Police on Patrol (Matchbox City Heroes) – This is probably my eight year old’s favorite. It’s complete with stinky fish, a runaway dog and a robbery. What more could you ask for from a police book? Apparently this one is out of print too, but I found it on ThriftBooks.
  • Paw Patrol Real Rescue Dogs – Get to know some real rescue dogs with your favorite Paw Patrol characters.
  • Paw Patrol Hometown Heroes – Meet the heroes in your community with the dogs from the Paw Patrol.
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria – No one listens to Officer Buckle’s safety talks until he brings his dog, Gloria, along. Soon Officer Buckle starts to think it’s only Gloria the children like and not him, so he gives up his talks. In the end, Officer Buckle realizes it’s teamwork that really matters.
  • Police Horses by Sunita Apte – I couldn’t find this one online, but it may be carried by your local library.
  • Fly Guy Presents Police Officers – I was surprised by this book actually. It had a lot of great information and was engaging for all three of my kids.
  • SWAT Team Tools – This is a beginning reader that goes over all the tools used on the SWAT team. Not engaging for older children, but a good introduction for little learners and early readers.

  • Fire: The Renewal of a Forest – Did you know fires are actually important to forests? This book looks at a forest as it cycles through new growth, old growth, and burning. The charming illustrations help to show how the flora and fauna of an area are affected during a fire, and why fires are important.
  • Fly Guy Presents Firefighters – We didn’t love this as much as the Fly Guy Police book, but it was still engaging and packed with information.
  • Hero Copter (Matchbox City Heroes) – My kids just really can’t get enough of these Matchbox City Heroes books. This one tells the story of a rescue copter team and follows them on two rescue mission – one in the forest and the other on water.
  • Firefighters A to Z – I really liked this firefighter alphabet book. The illustrations are bold and fun. My kids really liked to look at the pictures, but aren’t crazy about most alphabet books.
  • Fireboat – Fireboat is the story of a retired fire boat that was slated to be sold as scrap. A group of people who wanted to preserve it worked together to rescue and restore the boat. It was mostly used for fun until the 9/11 terrorist attaches when the John J. Harvey was needed for one last mission.
  • Molly By Golly: The Legend of Molly Williams, America’s First Female Firefighter – Molly works as the cook for the NYC Company 11 crew, but when fire strikes with too few men available to fight it, Molly isn’t going to sit around and watch.
  • Three Alarm Fire (Matchbox City Heroes) – Another Matchbox City Heroes book that’s a favorite at our house. Follow David Donshel on his very busy first day as a firefighter.
  • Firefighter Frank – Follow Frank along for a day as a firefighter. This book is everything you would expect from a book by Monica Wellington – vivd illustrations, engaging text, and a lovable main character with a trusty side-kick.
  • Marley: Firehouse Dog – This I Can Read level 2 book has the same plot as every Marly book. Marley gets into trouble and makes a big mess, but somehow no one gets upset and everyone thinks Marley’s the best. I don’t understand it, but my kids love these books.
  • Firefighter Blaze – This was a thrift store find a while back and was our first introduction to Blaze. We love Blaze. This book is quite simplistic on its own, but we like to watch the corresponding Blaze episode after reading it.
  • You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Fire – I’m sure your familiar with the “You Wouldn’t Want to . . .” series. I’m honestly not usually a fan due to the pessimistic tone of the book, but this one was actually really good. It had some fun trivia sprinkled throughout and kept the attention of everyone. Can YOU think of all the things we wouldn’t have or wouldn’t be able to do without fire?
  • FIrefighter’s Handbook – I really enjoy the “Handbook” books by Meghan McCarthy. With her bold illustration style and engaging text, she takes us through the training, tools, and work of a Firefighter.
  • Heat – This little graphic novel style book takes a look at heat, how it travels and moves, and what it’s all about. It’s a fantastic little physics lesson in a book. My kids enjoyed the graphic novel style as well as the little flame.
  • Wildland Firefighter – My oldest read this one by himself and enjoyed it. It looks at the work of one wildland firefighter.
  • Pete the Cat: Firefighter Pete – If you have a little one who loves Pete the cat, this might be a great way to pull them into the fun. It’s more fun than real, but it is certainly fun.

  • No Dragons for Tea – Dragon didn’t mean to sneeze during tea time, but when disaster followed, Dragon didn’t know how to respond. This is a cute way to explore fire safety with the younger set.
  • I Won’t Go with Strangers – Lu is waiting to be picked up from school, but she won’t go with anyone she isn’t supposed to. This book with a surprise ending is a great way to start conversations about stranger safety (and who qualifies as a stranger) without being scary.
  • Stop, Drop, and Roll – Jessica worries about everything. Now that it’s fire safety week she has even more to learn about. However, Jessica learns that in a true emergency she has what it takes to pull through.

Text Heavy Picture Books

  • Swat Teams: Armed and Ready – My kids really enjoyed the photographs as well as all the information about what SWAT team members do.
  • Police Dog Heroes – A typical non-fiction book about police dogs; their breeds, training, and more.
  • Police Robots – Take a look at the way Police officers use robots to make their work safer and more effective.
  • The Eye That Never Sleeps: How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln – Did you know that there were many people who wanted President Lincoln dead? This is the story of Detective Pinkerton and how he foiled those plans, keeping President Lincoln safe.
  • Smokejumper: Firefighter From the Sky – My children enjoyed this non-fiction book about what it takes to be a smoke jumper. We live in wildfire country and have lived near smokejumpers. My kids have been fascinated with them and this gave them a closer look at a very dangerous, but important job. This is another one that seems to be out of print, but it is available on ThriftBooks at the time of writing.

Encyclopedias

  • Gun a Visual History – This isn’t exactly Emergency worker related, but it covers the history of firearms, including those weapons used by law enforcement.
  • Fire! by Joy Massoff – Had I known about it sooner I, hands down, would have used it as the spine of the firefighter portion of our unit study. It includes everything you could imagine about firefighting with loads of amazing illustrations. It reminds me a bit of DK books.

Early Chapter Books

  • On a Mission: Firefighter – We didn’t actually get to this one, but it still looked like a good non-fiction read, so I included it in the list here.

Chapter Books

  • Behind the Badge: Crimefighters Through History – This was another surprise favorite. Filled with great illustrations and stories of real crimefighters in history, this is a fun way to see how law enforcement has evolved over time. Some stories may be upsetting for young or sensitive readers.
  • Rescue Dogs: Ember – I read this book to see if it would make a great read aloud. It was a story about Ember, a pup rescued from fire and later trained to be a rescue dog herself. She is full of spunk and energy and everyone wonders if she has what it takes to be a working dog. It’s also about the Sterling children who live on Sterling Ranch where rescued dogs are trained to be rescue dogs. It was a fun read, but most of the book was about dogs and dog training, and less about fighting fires. I was hoping for things to be weighted the other direction.
  • Encyclopedia Brown Series – Is there any better series to read when talking about detectives? Work with Encyclopedia Brown to solve mysteries. He can solve the crime but can you figure it out? Answers to this interactive book series are found in the back.

Audio Books

We didn’t listen to any audio books on this topic, but if you know of some great ones, please leave them in the comments below so we can learn about more great resources!


Have you read any of these books? What are your favorites? Are there any great books I forgot to add? Leave a comment below so none of us miss any great resources!

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