Jennie Jones is an on-call firefighter at Wesham station. During the day she works at an opticians, but loves the variety of working on call and being able to help people during their time of need.
Why did you want to become an on-call firefighter?
I wanted a new career! I was cabin crew for 13 years. I wanted something new and when I started looking into it, I realised how many similarities there are. The safety training, being on call and dealing with members of the public were aspects I was already used to. At the airlines you got allocated a number when you arrived at work which is the same when you’re on call, there are so many similarities. I work in an opticians during the day and I’m also dual based, so I’m assigned to Wesham station when I’m at home and Lytham whilst I’m at work. No day is the same, which I love.
Is the reality different from your expectations before signing up?
I think when you’re on call once you become competent it slots in around your other commitments a lot easier. At the moment, the PDR (Performance and Development Review) is quite a lot to get your head around initially, you don’t realise the extent of the professional development aspect before signing up. We’re under personal development for four years and the amount of information you take in is ever changing.
Luckily, I know what I’m doing in my day job so it hasn’t been difficult to learn new things alongside it. My boss is a blood bike who volunteers to deliver blood for the NHS around his normal job, so he understands the concept of giving back to the community which is really good.
What do you enjoy about the role?
I adore the first aid and trauma aspect of the job as I love helping someone in their time of need, even if it’s just making them smile and feel better. In those situations your training kicks in, some of the first aid you do in this job is unreal! The capacity of what we’ve been trained to do is huge, we are actually able to do more than what an ambulance technician would because of intubation. We’re in between an ambulance technician and a paramedic in terms of first aid level.
Have you got any advice for someone looking to apply?
Just go for it, just try it. You can push yourself so much further than you think, that’s something I’ve learned.
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Find out more about being an on-call firefighter and apply here: www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk/careers