Job Dreams: Firefighter
As part of our Job Dreams series, we speak to professionals from different careers and share their advice with you. Last month, we learned what it's like to be an astrophysicist. And this month we met Tristan who told us what it’s like to be a firefighter!
What do you do?
I’m a Leading Firefighter.
Can you tell us what your day-to-day is like?
Shifts always start with a roll call, making sure everyone is fit for duty and so is all their fire gear, or PPE (personal protective equipment). We then check all our equipment starting with our breathing apparatus.
Then the day shift will normally include some sort of training, for example, ladder drills.
We will also carry out some community fire safety work, such as fitting smoke alarms. And we check fire hydrants during summer months to make sure they work, and visit unusual or high risk buildings to familiarise ourselves in case we need to attend an incident there.
At 4pm we normally all go to the gym for an hour to keep our fitness up.
All of this is fitted around attending incidents. On average I’d say we go to three or four a day. We never know what type of incident we could get called to. It could be anything from a fire or a road traffic collision to people locked in a bathroom or many other unusual scenarios!
What do you love most about your job?
I love helping people when they are in their most desperate need.
What do you find most challenging?
Seeing people in distress or injured, or seeing people’s families and friends after a distressing incident.
What did you see yourself doing when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a professional poker player!
What challenges did you face in reaching where you are today?
It took me a few attempts to get into the fire brigade and then I found training school really hard.
If you weren’t working in this field, what do you think you’d be?
Probably a train driver or lorry driver...or unemployed!
Where do you see yourself going next?
To be honest I am happy in the position I am in for the foreseeable future.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you first left school?
Life gets easier and some things you think were important when you were at school turn out not to be later in life.
What advice would you give to someone interested in joining your industry?
Go for it, it’s a great job and if you don’t get in at first then other jobs you do will help build life experience for when you do get in. It normally takes most people more than one attempt.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve been given?
Never be complacent.
What quote do you live by?
Seize the future!