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A Day in the Life...
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Issue 5 -Paul Green - Fire Fighter
Paul Green - Fire Fighter

Watch Manager Paul Green from Denby Village is in charge of the Green Watch based at Ilkeston Fire Station. Paul has been a Fire Fighter for 19 years – previously he spent 14 years in London and 2 years in Derby as a Breathing Apparatus Instructor. When he was in London, Paul would attend around 4,000 calls a year, in Ilkeston it’s around 750 – that’s an awful lot of calls in his time!

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 between them.

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 fires?

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.

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