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Why be a Firefighter?

Plenty of people want to join the Fire Service. But what is it like once you are in? We asked around to get some behind the scenes insights, and found some surprising answers!

I love my job because the shifts let me spend time with my family and it is a career for life. There are plenty of days I can be there to pick the kids up from school and on night shifts they don’t even really notice I’m not there.
Karen, South Wales
I get a sense of well-being from helping others, whether it is a serious incident or just helping someone. People have a lot of respect for the role and I think that’s because everyone works hard to keep up the good reputation. We help people when they might be upset or scared and it feels great to do the right thing and make a difference.
Simon, Humberside
The job has got busier over the years, not incidents as they have gone down but the community safety work. If I didn’t enjoy the work and see how worthwhile it is I might feel put out that its different from when I joined. With less fires it means we are doing something right.
Barry, West Mids
Last year I got involved in water rescues and had training, and over the years I’ve also been part of charity events which I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. To be honest the politics annoy me but there is still plenty to be positive about. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. Not that they’d have me now!
Anon
I enjoy my job because it’s interesting and every day is different. You don’t attend incidents every day, but there will always be something that needs doing whether its drills, training or just cleaning the appliance!
Darren, Nottinghamshire
I didn’t expect there to be so much of the community side of things, the talks at schools and different groups, going out to people’s homes to do checks, getting to chat to people about what we do. I love it when we do open days and get to tell people who are interested about the work we do and how we are trying to keep the public safe. There aren’t many jobs where you get that sort of satisfaction.
Mark, Dorset
As a Station Manager I run the whole station, sorting out budgets, personnel issues, implementing policy- you name it really. When I joined I didn’t think about that side of the job, the fact that I could progress to management quite quickly. There’s a clearer career ladder here than in other jobs.
Martin, London
I’m retained so I have my ‘normal’ job but I do all the training, drills etc on the evenings I work at our local station. As RDS I have been promoted quite quickly and now manage our Watch. I’d recommend it, it can be a challenge and tiring but it gives me something completely different to get stuck in to.
Ben, Cumbria
We play football and get to keep fit at work. Result.
Rich, Surrey
I love the fact that I can run my own landscaping business in the time I’m not on rota as a firefighter. It means I can bring in the extra money I need for family holidays and have variety in what I do.
Kenny, Scotland
I love my job because the women love it!!!!!!
Kieron, Manchester

 

Next Page: Finding a Firefighter Job

To find out who is recruiting you need to keep an eye on the websites of each FRS. Unfortunately there isn’t any consistency; they don’t recruit every year or at a certain time of year. You just need to stay alert…