Questions and Answers with On-Call Firefighter, Wayne Court
What is your role at AF&RS, where are you stationed and how long have you been with the Service?
I am an on-call firefighter stationed at Blagdon. I joined in August 2020 and attended training at Severn Park throughout October and November. I officially went on the run at the end of November 2020.
What made you want to become an on-call firefighter?
I’ve always been interested in becoming a firefighter but due to other commitments this was not possible.
What is your alternative employment when you’re not firefighting?
I am a Transport Engineer for Bristol Airport. I fix and maintain a variety of vehicles.
What initial and ongoing training do you have to do to be an on-call firefighter?
First I went through the interview stage, followed by an online English and Maths exams, followed by a fitness test and medical. Once I had been accepted, I attended four of Blagdon station’s drill nights learning. I then went to Severn Park for 26 days training over a two month period and once I had passed I went on the run. For the next two years I am considered a firefighter in development and I am working through a training plan with my mentor.
What’s the best bit about being an on-call firefighter?
I love the excitement and variety of incidents you could attend. Knowing I am able to help and support my local community.
Are there any challenges to being an on-call firefighter and what is your advice to others who might be worried about this?
The only challenge I would say is the pager could go off anytime so if you are on call you need to be able to drop everything to attend the call.
What advice would you have for others thinking about becoming an on-call firefighter?
Go and speak to your local station to find out more details about the role. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to commit to the weekly hours.