Firefighter Aggi Wieczorek
Aggi became an on-call firefighter in February 2012 and two years ago became a wholetime firefighter at St Neots Fire Station.
Firefighting runs in the family for Aggi. She grew up in Poland, where her dad, uncles and granddad have all been involved with the volunteer fire service. Determined to beat her brothers to becoming a firefighter, Aggi tells us where it all started:
“I grew up in Poland and had an interest in the Fire Service from a young age, but while there are female firefighters in Poland, there is a perception that women can’t do it. It’s much more accepting here.
“My family are very supportive. My husband is especially proud. He helps me get out of the house quicker when I’m on-call!
“I was very determined to be a wholetime firefighter, but had some doubts. I never thought I would get in but attended an information event and started the process. I did lots of research and reading to prepare for the interview, and despite not being successful first time, I persevered and prepared even more. I went for it a second time and it paid off.
“My colleagues are really supportive. I know I can always ask for support and have a chat with someone if I need to. There is always someone I can reach to for help.
Being a firefighter doesn’t always mean working shifts. Aggi works at St Neots Fire Station which is a day crewed station so she works Monday to Friday in her wholetime role. On top of this, Aggie is also an on-call firefighter so responds from home when her alerter goes off.
Aggie’s advice to others is: “You don’t know if you can do something until you’ve tried it. You could walk past a station every day and always wonder ‘could I do that?’, or you could give it a go. I did and here I am!
“Women often worry about their fitness being a barrier to becoming a firefighter. My secret to keeping in shape is the Joe Wicks workouts!”
Talking about what she likes most about her role, Aggi said: “Every day is different, and we’re helping people. When we’re driving through the streets, children wave at us. Sometimes people are surprised to see a woman driving the fire engine but hopefully it encourages others to think they can do it too. I love it!”
You can find out more about the fire service and what it’s like to be a firefighter, by going along to a ‘Have A Go’ day.
We’re running four sessions on October 13 and 14 at Huntingdon Fire Station (you must book a place to take part). It’s your chance to:
• Try some of the activities that firefighters need to be able to do
• Learn more about the role
• Talk to female and male firefighters who currently do the job
• See more of the equipment you would be expected to use.
For session times and more information, see our website http://bit.ly/2y2Vgjc
**Please Note: We're now FULLY BOOKED for the Women Only session on Saturday 14th****Please Note: We're now FULLY BOOKED for the Women Only session on Saturday 14th**