As a firefighter you follow a structured process to take you from being a civilian to a trainee firefighter, to a probationary firefighter and ultimately to a competent firefighter. But what helps you go that one step further to truly become a professional?
Everyday is a school day..
In the FRS you’ll be learning things from the day you start training centre through to the day you retire. It’s vital that as a firefighter you remain up to date on the latest equipment, it’s safe use and it’s applications. The same applies to the latest policies and operational guidance.
Fitter For Longer
Revised pension regulations mean that a firefighter now has to work until the age of 60 to receive their full benefits. That means an individual joining at 18 will have 42 years ahead of them during which they’ll need to maintain their fitness levels. It is proven that cardiovascular fitness, strength and flexibility all deteriorate with age and the decline is greater and earlier onset in females. As such, it is now more than ever important that people not only join the FRS fit, but maintain a high standard of fitness throughout their entire career.
Going the extra mile..
At a recent shout we arrived to discover a resident in a block of flats had placed some eggs on to boil and completely forgotten about them. The water had boiled dry and the eggs had burnt to the pan, and clearly had been for some time. The resident’s flat was full of blue smoke and so we ventilated the room and were able to reset the alarm. At this point we could have said our goodbyes and headed back to station but my colleague and I looked at each other and it was apparent we were both thinking the same. We informed our officer that we would be delayed as we needed to conduct a HFSV (Home Fire Safety Visit). We spent around twenty minutes talking to the resident, we addressed things like their smoking habit and what had caused them to forget about their cooking. We discussed and agreed ways to prevent this happening again and whilst I was chatting to them my colleague cleaned up the pan with the burnt cooking in and popped another couple of eggs on to boil. On return to station we then made contact with the housing association who owned the accommodation and they agreed a meeting with the resident to discuss ways in which they could better support them.
It’s important to remember that the seemingly small and somewhat insignificant actions we as firefighters take can in fact have serious and impactful effects and as professionals we should make the most of that.
The role of a firefighter is complex, demanding and multi-faceted but it is founded entirely on teamwork. We all bring something unique to the table and as a team we’re able to utilise individuals strengths as and when they’re required.