Liam Bamford

I’ve been with Avon Fire & Rescue Service and on station since January the 2nd, so nearly eight months now.

It’s been a lifelong dream of mine. I applied previously twice before, I was unsuccessful so I kept on trying.

Basically, I just wanted to give something back to the community. Life growing up wasn’t the best so I wanted to give something back.

Since joining the fire service, I have learnt it is not just all about fire. There is a lot of community work involved, making sure the community is safe.

For instance, they around fitting smoke alarms, giving talks in schools, to other people and making sure everyone is safe. Prevention is a key element of the fire service.

I knew they did a bit of prevention work, but I didn’t realise it is as much as what it is so that is a good thing. It’s a positive that people are going out there into the community and making sure it is safe.

Teamwork is a very key skill in the fire service. There is such a close bond. You are working with these people, obviously going into fires with these people so you need to be able to trust each other with your life basically.

I’ve also learnt to tackle situations differently. Whereas before you might think it would be quite easy to do something like going into a fire and put it out.

It’s not that simple. There are technical sides to it, but you learn all those skills on the way so you are equipped to deal with that.

I was a team leader at a cash centre so I had to deal with about 24 people so there were a few skills I brought across but I kind of wiped the slates clean to have a fresh open mind when joining the service and I think that has helped me out.

Every day is a challenge. You are always learning something new. All I can say is get your head down and remember all of the pieces of equipment. There is so much equipment that we have as a fire service.

That’s the challenge for me, to try and learn every bit of equipment we have and how to use it use it effectively.

Definitely, definitely go for it. It is the best thing I’ve done with my life other than having a child and get married. The career is amazing, it’s such a close-knit team and it’s a dream job.

It’s been a lifelong dream of mine so if you think you can do it, then Yes You Can. Just get out there and fill out an application form. You never know. This might be a career for you.

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Helen Rogers
I’m Helen Rogers and I’m on Red Watch at Weston-super-Mare. I started back in May last year, that is when I started my training, and before that, I was self-employed as a clinical hypnotherapist and psychotherapist for the last ten years.
Matt Smith
Joining the fire service is something I always wanted to do so I always kept tabs on the recruitment updates. They were recruiting whilst I was abroad. I applied for it, came back, and luckily enough I got it. 
For anyone thinking of joining the fire service, I would say yes you can. There is no reason why anybody couldn’t join the fire service. It is probably the best thing I have done.