I always wanted to be a Firefighter from a young age but due to a different career path, marriage and children it was not something that I pursued until later in life. At the age of 37 my life changed and I decided to apply to South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and was successful in joining the team as an Operational Firefighter based at Chepstow Station.
I found the training fairly challenging but with a reasonable level of fitness it was immensely enjoyable, learning new skills within a disciplined structure. Once on the station I formed a close bond with the rest of the watch enjoying the variation of the different parts of station life, work and routines. I found there was a lot more than just answering emergency calls which is the main reason I joined. The job and personal satisfaction following a successful rescue at a fire, RTC or other incident is always there and as a crew you really feel like you have made a difference. Community safety and prevention work forms a large part of station life and I find I enjoy this as much as attending emergency calls and although not as adrenalin-fuelled, the satisfaction of helping people from all different walks of life is always there.
Moving forward the job as a Firefighter is always evolving and my station is now attending First Medical Response calls in collaboration with the Ambulance Service as part of a nationwide trial. This has given me and the Watch new challenges with extremely rewarding results.
I would have to say that I enjoy the job as much now as I did when I first joined, I love working as part of a close knit team within the larger team of South Wales Fire & Rescue.