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The Dream is Now a Reality (Another LFB success)


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So I now feel finally satisfied with everything that I can’t actually post in this section. 

Over 12 months ago I applied to fulfil the lifelong dream to become a firefighter.  Yesterday I attended my welcome day with barring a delay in the final contract coming to me I start my training at Harrow on the 17th December. The perfect early Christmas present. 

So a bit about the process... After going through the whole uni life and working in Canary Wharf in an office for the past 4.5 years, when LFB decided to remove the postcode restriction I decided to apply. At least I could say I tried years down the line I told myself.

One by one I got through the various early stages. In Feb I attended my assessment day. The role plays went well but I was convinced I screwed up on the interview. To my amazement a few weeks later I got the invite to a medical. It started to become a bit of a reality. 

The medical date came and Everything was fine. My knee which I had problems with as a teenager was fine. However my hearing was not good in one ear. I had no idea there was a problem. Little did I know that the 2 weeks before when I had had the flu had blocked my ear up partially. So the doc decided to see me in 6 weeks. I was gutted. 

A week later I got the invite to a physical. Considering what I had been told at the medical I thought it was strange but off I went to Paddington. Such a fun day and passed with flying colours. Now all that was holding me back was my left ear. 

A month or so later I went back to the LFB Doc to have another test. The results were worse. Nobody could explain it and was told I would need to be referred to a medical panel. I decided to go see my own GP and ended up being referred to an ENT specialist. After further tests he concluded that nothing was medically wrong. He wrote a report which confirmed his findings and off that went to LFB. 

That unfortunately wasn’t enough. The occupational health doc wanted me to see their specialist. To rub salt into the wound I was told that I would have to pay for the appointment. £220 for the privilege. After a few days deliberating I decided to stump up the money. I didn’t want to rregret not continuing to fight. So in August I went to the Shard in London to one of the fanciest doctors I have ever seen. The specialist checked my ear and looked at the results from my NHS ENT specialist and concluded the same...nothing wrong. Just a very mild loss that was actually improving. My mind started to be out at ease. 

After several calls to HR asking whether the docs had made a decision I was told that the decision could take months as a result of a national wide assessment of hearing standards. To say I was gutted was a understatement especially considering at the time I had two specialists saying nothing was wrong.

My luck was to change only a week later when I was called by HR to be told I had been passed medically fit. I had to have it confirmed several times over the phone as I wasn’t sure I heard properly (pun intended). 

Just over a month later with my pre contract signed and welcome day successfully completed I know feel as though it’s really happening. It’s been a long journey but worth every penny/bit of stress along the way. 

Sorry I realise that’s very long winded post so thanks to those who read it.

To wrap things up I just want to say thanks to everyone on here for providing the material that’s got me through the whole process. 

To those who are looking to apply or in the process. Don’t give up...no matter what hurdles you can get over them. 

I for sure will be sticking around to help those in the future and also soon be able to get more involved in the operational topics. 

@Carl between @Lumie @RichardWilson84 @Chris67 and I, I’m  sure we can put together a training blog so will reach out to you soon. 

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Well done Slade. You've certainly been through the wringer with the medical issues and many would have given up, but shows persistence and determination pays off. All the best with the course.:)

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Nice one mate, was great meeting you yesterday. Most likely will be the best £220 you'll ever invest! You'll be glad to know I ran the 2 miles home today to work on my equipment carry score?

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Congratulations, well deserved and pleased to see another member realise their dream. Enjoy. 

8 hours ago, Slade1890 said:

@Carl between @Lumie @RichardWilson84 @Chris67 and I, I’m  sure we can put together a training blog so will reach out to you soon. 

I do hope so. Many have promised but as you can see from the current Blogs, they appear to stop part way through. Not sure if this is due to the amount of workload recruits face or if its a case of members no longer browse the forum when they get what they want. I would like to think not, but its a true fact and the stats prove the site is not popular once a member gets in. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

That’s great to read (or hear, so to speak!).

I’m currently waiting on a medical panel because of hearing test failure. I’ve seen an audiologist who reported my hearing isn’t badly impaired and have sent the findings to HR. Hopefully I’ll have a similar result as you. 

Thanks for sharing the background and experience. 

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Blimey - That wasn't an easy route in was it? But your determination and stubbornness (!) has paid off and shows your commitment, so very well done and thanks for the post. I am sure it will motivate others who are struggling to negotiate the LFB's insensitive red tape!

Congratulations and enjoy your training through Jan & Feb. Brrrrrrrrrr :)


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I must admit, my course which was residential started on the 6th January and it was freezing. The new course started after ours finished in May and we watched them sweat in the heat doing the summer months. Much preferred the January course given the choice. 

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im on the same course as Slade. The thing that I got told is that training in snow, ice and rain during these winter months will mean when it comes to the real thing, it should be a breeze in the milder weather!

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