Paul, who is married to Joanne and has three daughters; Sophie (11),
Lily (3) and Macy (20 months) is the 3rd generation Fire Fighter in
his family. Both his Grandfather and Father were in the fire service
– the three of them have clocked up almost 80 years in the service
Paul explains a typical day in his role:
“Activities change on a daily basis but a typical day would start
at 08:50hrs with a handover. I am informed of anything relevant such
as road closures; any incidents of interest; equipment in need of replacement
which has been used by the shift etc. I then hold a roll call - detailing
who will be responsible for what jobs that day. Next we test equipment,
to make sure it is in working order should we need it. Various training
sessions take place - this could be cutting up a car in a crash scenario;
a chemical spill simulation or visiting our fire house where I would
hide dummies, fill it with smoke and then ask the crew to carry out
search and rescue tasks. Nowadays we also have to train for Water Rescues
and other hazards such as Terrorist Attacks.
We are pro-active and play a big role in Community Fire Safety and
will visit anyone who wants a Home Fire Safety Check. We will identify
fire hazards in your home and offer tips and advice. We visit schools
promoting Fire Safety to Children. We also visit factories, businesses
& licensed premises checking that fire certificates are being adhered
to. Obviously everything changes if we get an emergency call! Twice
a week I provide a night duty from 18:00hrs till 09:00hrs the next day
which involves completing training records, giving lectures, physical
fitness sessions and assessing NVQ candidates and of course attending
calls when they come, I would also pre plan and organise next weeks
timetable as well as finish off anything the day watch did not complete
due to call outs.
I asked Paul a couple of questions:
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
When a life or lives are saved from any incident such as fire, water
rescue or vehicle accident, you cannot describe that feeling when things
go right and lives are saved (Euphoria maybe ???)
What do you least like about your job?
Hoax Calls as these prevent us from being dispatched to a real emergency
within our area and a longer wait for anyone in trouble, Admin and paperwork,
and of course incidents that involve children, serious injury or fatalities.
In your experience, what is the most common cause of domestic
The top four causes are; cooking left unattended or cooking left on
by people intoxicated, smoking in bed, electrical socket overloading
& logs falling out from open fires.
If you would like a free Home Fire Safety Check contact the staff office
Monday-Friday 9am-5pm on 01159 326832.