Aylesbury Fire Station is looking to expand its firefighting team – and it’s keen to hear from you!
Did you know . . .
Aylesbury Fire Station is located in Stocklake. It is one of our shift crewed stations. This means it has four watches (Red, Green, White and Blue) whose members use the fire station as a base to provide full-time fire cover, 24/7 for Aylesbury and the surrounding villages.
Aylesbury also has an On-Call crew which can be called on to provide additional cover to Aylesbury, and its neighbouring areas, during incident response or when the day crew is busy.
What is an On-Call Firefighter?
On-Call Firefighters are professional firefighters and receive payment for the time they provide, responding to incidents, training and undertaking community safety activities, which include attending local events and helping people make their homes fire safe.
But unlike their shift colleagues, the Aylesbury On-Call crew usually respond from home or their primary employment on a call-by-call basis. They are local people who live, or work, in the Aylesbury area, and tend to have an enthusiasm for variety and action.
The On-Call crew are keen to help keep Aylesbury safe, either by using the skills and equipment they have been trained in to respond to emergency situations, by attending community events, or by sharing safety advice and tips with local groups.
If you’re interested, why not book onto our next On-Call Firefighter Awareness event. Taking place online on Wednesday 31 August 2022, you’ll be able to find out more about this firefighting role.
In the meantime . . .
Gav, 40, is one of your local Aylesbury On-Call Firefighters. He’s provided service to Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service for around 20 years and is someone you might have seen in the past delivering your mail. Up until 2019 he dual-rolled as an On-Call Firefighter and a local postal worker. His daily rural route saw him sorting and delivering letters on foot to the residents of Princes Risborough and the surrounding villages, Lacey Green, Speen and Saunderton.
Gav explains what it’s like being On-Call for Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service . . .
“Being an On-Call Firefighter in Aylesbury is great! I get to train with the wholetime crews, and experience lots of variety – both in terms of equipment and incidents.
I live in Aylesbury and used to work the mornings on my postal round, normally finishing by lunchtime. This meant I could then book on duty as a firefighter and provide the Service with cover during the afternoons and into the evenings.
The station is just round the corner from home so I can run or cycle in to respond to a call, but I can also do things in town and still be able to respond when needed. Getting there for our weekly training evenings is also no problem!
Our crew gets called out to a wide range of jobs from automatic fire alarms to road collisions, house fires, people stuck or trapped in places, water incidents and field fires – I’ve even been involved in rescuing a dog who’d got stuck after running straight into the railings of a children’s play park. She was a lovely soppy Rottie dog who’d managed to get through to her shoulders and then couldn’t get out. When we arrived she’d been stuck there for about 10 to 15 minutes so I was initially a little anxious about approaching her. But when she saw us her tail was wagging and then she started licking my hand so she wasn’t especially bothered by the situation or our presence. We got the hydraulic spreaders out of the truck and used them to spread the bars which gave the dog enough room to escape. She just reversed out and then ran around very pleased to be free. It’s always nice to rescue a dog!
For me the variety of incidents I get to attend, and the wealth of different skills I get to learn and use, are the things that keep me coming back for more. You just never know where you’re going or what you might be faced with when the pager goes off, and that’s exciting for me. The beauty of the On-Call role is that it fits around you, and at Aylesbury there are also plenty of opportunities to do more as well.
We have some special additional resources at the station, which On-Call help to crew, so it’s a really good place to work at. These include the incident command unit which goes out to the larger incidents we attend, a water tanker that can supply 10,000 litres when needed, and our environmental protection unit which is deployed to hazardous incidents such as flooding or chemical spills.
Sometimes we are the only crew required to attend an incident, on other occasions, during larger-scale incidents, we form part of a wider organisation response where we get to mix with crews from other stations and duty systems, even other counties!
Back in 2014 I attended the flood in Somerset in to help transport people to work from their flooded villages. On that occasion we completed shifts of four days each, staying in a hotel and becoming part of the emergency response team for that area. I appreciate this sort of opportunity isn’t for everyone, but that’s the beauty of On-Call, you can give just the core hours, or you can give more if it suits your lifestyle. The big incidents don’t happen every day, but you never know when they’re going to happen – I’m always waiting for the next big one!
As On-Call we get to interact with the community too – but not just at incidents. We meet people in their own homes or workplaces and provide advice on safety measures they can take. Then there are the community visits to the fire station, school fairs and community talks – again more variety and more opportunities to help make people safe.
The training, skills, and friendships I’ve acquired over the last 20 years at BFRS have been invaluable to me in my personal life. Physically the role helps me to work on keeping my fitness levels up and I enjoy sharing this with others on the watch – we’re a close team, and all help and support each other. Anyone new joining will always be invited to join our PT sessions and socials! First aid, working at heights and manual handling are great skills to have for anyone who enjoys being hands-on and active, and when you’re called on to bring them during an incident, the adrenalin rushes in. That does help keep me going during the night-time incidents, and you can always catch up on sleep the following day!