Like father, like son
Father’s Day has a special significance for three firefighters at Dovercourt Fire Station.
Station Manager Jason Gould, Watch Manager Dan Davis and Crew Manager Tom Jewell have all followed in their fathers’ footsteps at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.
Jason’s dad Tony was an on-call firefighter at Dovercourt for more than 25 years. Jason joined as an on-call firefighter in 2003 and briefly served with his dad before he became a wholetime firefighter 18 months later.
He recently came full circle and returned to Dovercourt as Station Manager.
He said: "My earliest memories are coming to Dovercourt Fire Station; it was like being part of a fire service family. Things like children's parties at Christmas were a big part of the social life.
"I worked with my dad as a mechanic and he suggested joining on-call to get some experience. My dad encouraged me to get involved and, as you'd expect, he's always had an interest in my career."
'Dad is the only reason I'm in the fire service'
Dan Davis’s father Adrian was a wholetime firefighter at Dovercourt for 31 years and retired as Station Officer. He sadly passed away two years ago.
Dan joined our Service in 2008 in a non-operational role. He joined as an on-call firefighter in 2011 and became a wholetime firefighter in 2017.
He said: "The only reason I'm in fire service is because of my Dad. I remember watching him run down the garden path to go out on calls.
"It has gone full circle for me. I had already achieved my goal of becoming a firefighter but my dad encouraged me to progress and now I'm Watch Manager at Dovercourt. It keeps that link to my dad – and I'm so proud of what he achieved.
"Dad always said: 'Whatever you do in life, remember your roots, remember where you came from.' It's lovely because Dovercourt is a family-orientated station where everyone gets on so well, it's just like I remember it."
Tom is following in his dad's footsteps
Tom’s dad Terry was Station Manager at Dovercourt, as well as serving in our Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team and in the UK International Search and Rescue. He retired earlier this year, after 30 years' service, but it still involved in a special operations and national liaison capacity.
Tom joined as a wholetime firefighter two years ago and, following in his dad's footsteps, is a USAR reservist.
He said: "As a child, I remember sitting in trucks on open days and going to New Year's Eve parties with the whole crew. If they were coming back from a job and came past our school or house, they would stop and say hello.
"I went into teaching initially but joining the fire service was always in the back of my mind so applied when the opportunity came up.
"I even managed to go on some USAR exercises with Dad before he retired, which was really nice."
Could you be an on-call firefighter?
If you live or work within five minutes of Dovercourt Fire Station, you could be an on-call firefighter and be paid to protect your local community by responding to incidents.
Find out more about the role by visiting join.essex-fire.gov.uk/on-call/dovercourt/.
Alternatively, visit join.essex-fire.gov.uk/on-call to find out more about being an on-call firefighter.