Meet our On-call Firefighters
Helen’s been on-call in Ramsey Fire Station for 2 years, having signed up after seeing recruitment signs for the station around Ramsey. At first she had some reservations, "I thought I’d be too old and too unfit to join, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to fit the job around having four children, with school runs and other commitments". Fortunately, Helen had a friend in a similar situation, who was also interested in joining and had been encouraged to apply by the Ramsey Watch Commander: "I thought if it was a possibility for her, then it might be for me too".
Helen went to meet with the Station Commander to discuss her options, "we had a great chat, and it was encouraging to know that I didn’t have to be superhuman to join, and that the hours that I could give were sufficient."
After her initial meeting, it was an eight month process before she became and on-call firefighter and joined the crew for her first shift. "The recruitment process was staggered, so I was able to work assessments around my other commitments and could work my way through them one step at a time. I had studied Speech and Language Therapy at university before becoming a stay-at-home mum, so it was great to be learning new skills again. I won’t lie, the process wasn’t easy for me, and to be able to join I’ve had to come out of my comfort zone and push myself, but everyone I’ve come across throughout the process has been genuinely brilliant, supportive, encouraging in every way".
Helen’s now just come to the end of her two years’ probation period, during which time she completed extra training, studies, and assessments: "it requires a lot of commitment, but that’s been easy to provide because I love the job! When I’m in the middle of a challenging situation and I’m able to help, it’s a pretty great feeling!"
The ability to fit her on-call duties around day-to-day life has given Helen a chance to do something extraordinary for her community: "I can do things at home, shop, go to the Post Office or the Leisure Centre, and still be on-call because, In Ramsey, these are all five minutes from the station."
And her parting words of encouragement for anyone else that might be interested in life on-call?
"I’m so happy I joined the Fire Service! I love being able to help, I love the variety of experiences the job offers and the people I get to meet. If you’ve EVER thought ‘yeah, that’s something I’d like to try’, then I highly recommend that you take that first step!"
Trust us, you won’t regret it!