Ben, Customer Support Officer

So Ben, what does your job involve? 

My role is to book operational colleagues across the county onto their training courses throughout the year to ensure they maintain competency when responding to calls and emergencies. I specialise in Driving School so I tend to book training, ranging from the appliances such as fire engines, to 4 x 4 Off Road courses.

What do you enjoy most about working at Kent Fire and Rescue Service? 

The people are excellent to work with. I can come in with a smile on my face and look forward to working with the Business Support Team and the various training coaches who specialise in different areas. Every day is very different. I experience various issues and challenges, so the work doesn’t feel repetitive.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Greeting the students that come to Training Centre every morning and directing them where they need to go to. I usually tend to contact students that are coming up for expiry on their qualifications and get them to book a refresher day with us so that their records are up to date. My team all have their own specific remits they look after. However, a lot of the time, it all links together so we have to regularly liaise with each other to ensure they are doing their courses at the right time and in the correct order. In between, we will take various phone calls from colleagues that may be enquiring about things such as course dates, their training records, and resources.

How long have you been a part of the Customer Support Team? 

I have been part of the Business Support for four and a half years now. I joined as an apprentice working with the BST at the Service Headquarters before making the transfer to Training Centre back in 2019. By the end of that year, I became a permanent member of the team after completing my Level 3 qualification.

How would you describe your team to someone thinking about applying for a role in the Customer Support Team? 

The team is brilliant to work with. We are a close group, but at the same time we’re very much customer focused. As the first point of contact, it’s essential that we lead from the front and give everyone a positive perception of service whether they already work for us, are visiting for the day, or if we are speaking to members of the public on the phone.

What do you feel has been your biggest challenge in your role? 

When I made the transfer to Training Centre, the contrast in work was very different and at the start was very hard to take in. Driving School is a big remit to look after as I was having to learn about all the different pre-requisites that were needed before colleagues could drive a specific vehicle. Over time though, it has become a lot easier to understand, and help is always around the corner if I ever need it.

What are you most proud of in your career at Kent Fire and Rescue?

Knowing that everything I’m doing in the background is contributing to our operational colleagues being able to go out and do their job to the best of their ability. Every time I speak to family or friends about working in the service, I’m always saying that anyone I see driving on blue lights, the chances are that I would have come across them at some stage whilst working here. Working for Kent Fire and Rescue has helped change me as a person because I was quite shy when I came into the organisation, but over time I’ve been able to come out my shell more and now I feel like I’m a part of the family here.