Here are a few biographies about some of our volunteers
David originally worked in the fire safety industry and since retiring turned his expertise to becoming a volunteer Home Safety Technician.
He is still interested in the area of fire safety, and being an ex-salesman finds it easy talking to people. While volunteering he enjoys using these skills outside of the corporate environment of his old job as he finds it much more fulfilling to help the general public and potentially save people from the devastation of a house fire.
David also works in partnership with the police to combine fire safety with home security advice. He said: “People are always happy to talk to us and grateful for the advice, it’s a great feeling knowing that after a home fire safety visit you’ve helped to keep that person safe.”
Mick has been a Technical and Research Volunteer at the Essex Fire Museum since helping with the museum’s start-up in 2007.
His role is to maintain the museum’s equipment and update content and displays. He also undertakes historical research and has recently used his research to write a book titled “Essex & East London Fire Brigades during the Great War” as part of a national project for the 100 year anniversary of World War I.
Mick also takes the museum on the road, employing his experience as a semi-retired teacher to educate the public about fire safety and the history of the Service.
Mick said: “I enjoy all aspects of volunteering for ECFRS; the variety, the challenge, and working with excellent colleagues.”
Community minded Amanda Dodge joined the volunteering scheme a year ago after looking for something positive to do with her time between jobs. She wanted to use her experience to assist others. With a keen interest and background in risk, she now enjoys helping vulnerable people in her community stay safe in their homes.
Aspiring retained firefighter Amanda has recently applied to join Wickford Fire Station and is currently working to pass the entrance tests.
“I have always wanted to be a firefighter and so this role is perfect for me to gain more knowledge and experience working to keep my community safe,” she said.
“The hours are flexible and fit in well with my home and work life. I have recently found a part time job at my local hospital, but I will continue to volunteer as I get so much satisfaction from it.
“The best part of the role is meeting new people and seeing how grateful people are when I visit. A lot of people I have met have never considered the risks of fire in their homes and didn’t have a smoke alarm.
“I have learned a great deal during my time as a volunteer. Getting fire safety advice through to these people who has never considered it before is challenging, but something I have enjoyed.”
History fanatic Murray has been a volunteer at the Essex Fire Museum since 2007 and played a key role in its construction and population prior to its opening.
Murray brings a wealth of expertise to the role. He started his fire service career in 1963 and served at both Essex and London Fire Services. He also volunteers at the London Fire Museum, where he has been since 2005.
He said: “The fire service was a huge part of my life and after retiring I wanted to keep a connection to it. It enables me to combine my passion for history and the fire service while getting to meet new people and to keep up to date with news from the Service.”
Murray’s daily tasks include recording all the items that are sent to the museum and also gets involved with the maintenance of the vehicles and equipment. He said: “The best part of the job is going out and talking to people about the history of the fire service. We have had thousands of visitors to the museum and we also attend dozens of events throughout the year. I could talk about the history of the fire service all day!
“The most challenging part of my role is the vast amount of research required. There are very little records before 1948. I am currently working with the other museum volunteers to research the fire service provisions in the First World War, which is somewhat of a mystery but it makes the task even more worth doing!”