Sam Oldfield is Wesham born and bred and serves as an on-call firefighter at Wesham station. Being part of the emergency services runs in the family and he loves giving back to his local community.
Why did you apply to be an on-call firefighter?
I came here straight from college at 18. I come from an emergency services family – my mum works for the ambulance service and my dad’s in the police, so between the three of us we’ve covered all bases. Being called Sam, I suppose it made sense to be a firefighter!
Is the reality different from your expectations before signing up?
It’s a lot different, but in a good way. Coming out of college I thought it would just be putting out fires every day which isn’t the case! You end up loving the community aspect, I’ve lived here pretty much all my life and we’ll be going into schools or fitting smoke alarms and people recognise you because you’re covering your local area which is nice. You never know what’s going to happen next, which is the best part.
Through the skills I’ve learned in the fire service I now teach at a nautical college in Bispham.
Have you been to a particularly memorable incident?
We went to an old person’s home and when we arrived there was fire and loads of smoke and it seemed like a big incident. So I’m dragging a hose until the lad I’m with says “wait there” he fills a mug with water, pours it and says “fire’s out!”. There was smoke everywhere and it turned out to be a tiny fire that had burned a tea towel!
Have you got any advice for someone looking to apply?
Just do it! Go down to your local station and speak to the crew because you form a family early on. It’s a lot more of a family feel than you would feel as a wholetime firefighter as I feel like you’re at the station a lot more than you would be full time. You are only required to be at your station two hours a week for the drill night but if you want to develop and form your bonds then you can come to additional sessions, we also organise social get togethers like curry nights. Being on call for me is amazing, even if I become wholetime I will still work on call as I enjoy it so much.
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Find out more about being an on-call firefighter and apply here: www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk/careers