Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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International Control Room Week - Ryan's story

One of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s Control Room Operators has been praised by Harlow firefighters for his advice to a family during a kitchen fire.

Ryan Gibson has worked in Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s Control Room for five years and on Sunday, 20 October, he gave advice to a resident that prevented fire spreading in their home.

When crews were called to a toaster fire in Harlow, Ryan reassured the caller and advised her and her family to make their way out of the house and to close the doors behind them. Firefighters at the scene praised him for his advice which prevented the fire from spreading to other rooms in the house and limiting the damage caused.

“It was nice to get recognition for giving advice,” said Ryan. “We’re trained to give safety advice and the thing I love the most about this role is knowing that you are keeping people safe.”

Ryan started his career in the Service as an on-call firefighter in Maldon, a role he dedicated his time to for 15 years on top of his day job as a driving instructor. As part of that role, he worked closely with the Control Operators and fancied giving the role a go.

His experience on the other side of the phones has served him well in his role when dispatching crews and knowing what appliances to send to an incident, something all Control Operators do in their role. “People think we just take calls,” says Ryan, “but there’s a lot more to it and a lot of it is having the knowledge about what appliance is needed for each incident.”

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