Jump to content

Day to Day Life as a FF


Recommended Posts

New to the forum and currently going through the recruitment process for Cheshire. Looking forward to the next stage!

I have had an interest in joining for quite some time and have done plenty of research and spoken to the two fire fighters I know already about life in the Fire Service, but this forum opens up a whole new range of views and experiences.

Really my question is, what is life like day to day as a FF? The good, the bad, the ugly?! I have read some very insightful posts here about some of the more challenging and harrowing aspects of the job, but interested to hear the truth from some serving fire fighters about the reality of day to day life.

I appreciate every individual service is slightly different, but what I know from previous service in my life is that an outsider looking in can only really get a feel for a job by speaking to those currently doing it at the sharp end!

Cheers and good luck to everyone else going through the recruitment process.

Link to comment

Might be worth asking the mods to move this to the 'operational topics' section to get more views; this section's mainly for stories of the brigade in decades past. That said, I can honestly say no two days are the same! 

As you rightly said, it'll differ by brigade but our general day shift looks something like this

- Parade, take over your BA set(s) and check around the motor (fuel and hydraulic fluid levels in cutting gear etc.)
- Go through message book, quick cup of tea
- 'Safe and well' visits. This is where you're engaging with the community, checking home fire safety, installing smoke alarms and so on. Not all brigades do this I believe.

- Lunch from 1 - 2 (this is usually where the bells go down)

- Daily station routines. Think of these as your 'tasks' for the day, which mainly involve the maintenance and testing of equipment on the pump, as well as cleaning equipment and running station errands like ensuring spare cylinders are charged and ready to go, laundry is taken care of etc.
- We're allowed an hour of gym time
- Stand down for the last hour of the shift. 

Night shifts are different, and your work is split at the start and end of the shift (such as washing the motor) with a stand down for sleep in between.

Bear in mind, all of this is taking place on a very quiet day. Normally there's a couple of shouts to break up the routine, or you might find yourself on an open day. A really busy shift will quickly decimate any sort of routine - it was only last month, after a day of non-stop shouts, I found myself finally enjoying my lunch at 8 PM!

Another thing to bear in mind is that as the newbie you'll be expected to get your head in the books a bit and swat up on all the niche bits of equipment your machine carries, procedures and more (I know this because I'm the newbie). People on station will generally be more than happy to come into the bays and help you practice with a bit of equipment though, and it's a great environment to work in general. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

Do you like cleaning things? You’ll do lots of that! 

Occasionally you’ll go on a shout, that’s the best bit.

Find a good role model in a senior hand and hoover up all and everything, don’t be afraid to ask we’ve all been there at some point.

Put yourself out to help out / be involved. You are the probie even if most services don’t like ‘that’ term now. What you do now will be the first impressions you give to what will be a huge part of your life.

PS buy cakes for anything good or bad you do/achieve/have a passing link to

Oh and don’t get triggered by banter, it’s as much a coping mechanism as a team building thing.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

As a probationary firefighter expect lots of training, wether out on the yard or doing/giving lectures. Not forgetting about the studying. Also spend time in the bays looking over the truck at equipment, locker drills have been a favourite since before you were born. And then when you think youve got a bit of spare time, you can still do all that on your own ?

be keen and your watch will go the extra mile with you ( one of the older hands on my watch would have me down in the engine house as soon as supper was finished on nights to go through equipment with me, thus sacrificing his own stand down time. i was proud as punch that he did this for me )

This is prime learning time for you, never think “oh theres nothing left to do” as your gaffer will find 20 things that need doing. But one thing ive learned is that whilst the shouts arent always there ( and im on the busiest station in my service ) the day to day running of the station never lets up

  • Like 1
  • Kudos 1
Link to comment

As has been said, be involved and get involved.  You will be on development so you will be expected to be proactive whether you have been given something to do or not.  When you find yourself with some spare time use it wisely, practice your knots and get familiar with stowage on the truck.  You DONT want to arrive on a shout not knowing where the holmatro is, or what locker the breaking in gear is in.

Have the right attitude, take the banter as it’s meant to be taken and DONT be Billy Big B**** as soon as you get on your new watch or you’ll be destroyed instantly.  Reputations in this job will stick until the day you retire, so get yourself the right one.

Good luck.

  • Like 3
Link to comment

The right attitude is to openely challenge Billy Big Balls and see him as small as he is. More so as he cringes and understands that you will not be walked all over. (thats's his masculinity ruined)

Only then by challenging the Bullies of the Group will you become instantly accepted. That includes the Gaffer.

Stand up for yourself and fear not intimidation, bullying and harassment from anyone. However you must learn to accept what the older guys offer as their way of passing on many years of experience though it may not be as eloquent as your MOM speaks but thats a Service whereby the females are often worse than the guys as they struggle to blend in as opposed to being themselves.

Most important is a nickname:

Throughout ages past a nickname is a sign of acceptance into your new community. Tough shit if you don't like it as it will almost certainly stick to you like a teflon frying pan.

See: wont stick...........Teflon.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...