Firefighters don’t just put out fires – that’s why they’re part of the Fire and Rescue Service!
So, what else might you expect to have to do in your daily role as a firefighter?
A rule of thumb is to expect the unexpected – you never know what kind of emergency or situation you might get called out to next.
A common and sometimes harrowing callout for firefighters are to road traffic accidents, rescuing trapped drivers or passengers from their vehicles.
This involves the use of specialist equipment such as spreaders, which you’ll be trained up on using as part of your initial Firefighter training.
Firefighters regularly see the aftermath of simple driver errors and the devastation caused by dangerous driving, and many stations also contribute to raising road safety awareness within the community by organising talks and events, such as Think! to encourage drivers to look out for motorcyclists.
Rescuing people from their homes… and elsewhere!
This has became an increasingly common callout in recent years. With the escalating amount of obesity in the UK the fire service is increasingly being called upon to help move people from their homes for transportation to hospital.
Other reported callouts have been for children who have became trapped in railings, or adults trapped in children’s swings (yes really!).
The ridiculous situations which members of the public get themselves into is sometimes beyond belief – and quite often helped along by the effects of alcohol.
This is a stereotypical image – the firefighter rescuing a (usually disgruntled looking) cat from a tree!
But in reality animal rescues can often be very tricky and dangerous.
With large animals a rescue attempt can often be risky if the animal is frightened, which complicates things further for all involved.
Situations that have made the news include firefighters rescuing horses from sinking sand or bogs, lifting injured animals out of wells, and helping animals who have become stuck in drains or places where they can’t easily be reached.
And yes, this could mean saving the occasional cat from a tree!
Depending on the location of your chosen FRS you may be involved in water rescues as part of your role. This is why certain FRSs such as South Wales have swimming tests as part of their assessment process.
The Fire Service works in partnership with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) to attend emergency situations and deliver joint water safety initiatives.