Nick Davis, bar manager and on-call firefighter
Are you looking for an exciting way to make a difference in your local community? That was exactly what bar manager, Nick Davis, had in mind when he decided to become an on-call firefighter in New Romney, five years ago.
He said: “I loved the job from the day I started and even now, every time my alerter goes off, I still get excited. It is always something different that we are going to. Living in a small community, there is every chance that you may know the people you are being sent to help, or one of their friends or family members. Knowing that you can do something positive to hopefully make a difference, at often one of the worst times for them, is very rewarding.”
On-call firefighters are required to live or work within 5 minutes travelling time from a local on-call fire station and are paid to be available for an agreed number of hours. During that time you are able to carry on your normal life, but are paid to be available when an incident comes in.
On-call firefighters are called out to a wide variety of incidents including rescuing people from burning buildings or crashed cars, scaling ladders, operating water hoses, dealing with chemical spills, responding to life-saving medical emergencies, helping an elderly person stay safe in their homes with important safety advice.
30-year-old Nick is contracted by Kent Fire and Rescue Service to provide 55 hours per week evening cover, during which time he carries a pager and must be able to get to New Romney fire station to respond to incidents within five minutes. He attends a regular drill night each week with the rest of the crew as well as occasional additional training.
Nick’s other employer, The Captain Howey Hotel, in Littlebourne Road, allows him to respond to call outs from his day job as bar manager so he is able to provide additional day time cover too.
Nick’s own family has personally benefited from the having an on-call crew on duty in the town, when there was a medical emergency at his home while Nick was out of the area. His two-year-old nephew, who was being looked after by Nick’s mother, started to overheat after being taken ill.
Nick said: "The on-call crew was first on the scene to provide emergency medical care in their role as co-responders with South East Coast Ambulance Services (SECAmb). Having the crew arrive so quickly on the scene and to start basic observations ahead of the ambulance arriving was such a reassurance at a time of great worry.”
Both men and women from all kinds of background and walks of life can be firefighters. They must be at least 18-years-old with a good level of all round fitness. The hours KFRS's offers are be based on what the local station needs to deal with the risk in that area.
Nick added: “I would strongly recommend that other people interested in becoming an on-call firefighter find out more - it is honestly the best thing I ever did. The job satisfaction is tremendous and when people come up to you and personally thank you for your help, it makes it all worthwhile."
Kent Fire and Rescue Service is currently recruiting for on-call firefighters at New Romney and Dymchurch, as well as other stations across Kent and Medway.
Find out more about becoming an on-call firefighter