A question that always gets asked when people are talking about our job, what were you doing before and why did you join?
Hindsight is a beautiful thing, and when I asked my watch this question, you can see some of the guys reminiscing of previous jobs and younger days. The fact of it is that the fire service is made of all walks of live. Not just practical people, not just really intelligent people or not just physically fit people, everyone has their role to play.
I just have to look across my watch, I had guys who were in dead end jobs going nowhere desperate for a change that joined, but also guys who had dreamed of being a FF ever since they were a little boy and joined as soon as they were 18.
Due to the nature of our profession quite a large percentage of FF’s were in one of the armed forces before they joined, I think many of these were looking at getting back on to civvie street and the Fire Service was an easy progression for them.
Except for the military not many others on my watch had much of career before they joined. Many of us joined young and were flitting between jobs before joining the service. Like myself I spent 3 years as a personal trainer working at a local gym.
I am pretty sure that if I hadn’t joined the Fire Service I would have been in one of the 999 services. I have always liked helping people.
As with many people, I had admired the work done by the emergency services, and remember being taken to fire and police open days as a child and being fascinated by the job.
Probably one of the biggest reasons I joined was because of my Father in Law. He retired back in 2003, and I remember going as a teenager to his retirement do. We were taken through the town on the fire engine with the last bit being on blue lights, that was it, I was hooked! Something that also stuck in my mind was the camaraderie between his fellow firefighters. They all knew each other’s families and as an outsider looking in, they all had very close bonds.
From that point I have never looked back, we may whinge and moan from time to time but by far and away I believe I have the best job in the world!