Protecting South Woodham: life as an on-call firefighter
"The feeling you get when the pager goes off is just pure anticipation. Even if it’s in the middle of the night, the buzz you get almost gets you out of the door and down to the station before you even realise!"
Adam Boorman is one of South Woodham Ferrers Fire Station’s newest on-call firefighter recruits.
By day, Adam works in ICT, but outside of office hours he could be called at any moment to be there for those in need.
That could mean a house fire, a road traffic collision, flooding or a whole host of other situations in which his fellow South Woodham Ferrers’ residents, and sometimes other communities, need his help – and the moment his pager sounds, he goes into firefighter mode.
"It is all about serving your community and the vast majority of the calls you’ll go to are in places you know.
"I really enjoy it and it’s such a rewarding job. I don’t find it disruptive to my life at all.
"It’s a great atmosphere to work in and because of the nature of the job you grow close to each other as a group.
"It’s nice because you end up relying on the people you work with and trusting them with your life – they might be strangers in the beginning but you soon become a real team."
Adam points to that teamwork and being so well-respected by his community as the key parts of his job.
"When we’re out and about, we always get people waving to us - especially young children – which is really nice.
“As soon as they see the uniform, they show you so much respect. Straight away they know who you are and what you’re about - that’s a great feeling to be appreciated like that."
Despite that, there’s so much more to being a modern day firefighter than just putting out fires.
Firefighters now often go out into their communities to meet and engage with residents, offering safety advice and helping make sure fires are prevented where possible.
"That’s a really important part of what we do; our community work. Getting out and about and visiting places like businesses and schools is really rewarding and I enjoy that, too."
Adam is also a fully-trained LGV driver after completing a course to enable him to drive fire engines - just one example of the development opportunities available at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.
"That course would cost something like £2,000 if I was going to pay for that myself. You get so many chances to improve yourself and learn new skills and I really appreciate that."
Want to join Adam in protecting South Woodham? If you’re over 18, physically fit and live or work within five minutes of the station, we want to hear from you!
Drop in to our open day and recruitment event between 10am - 1pm on Saturday 14 April.
Visit our website for more information: essex-fire.gov.uk/southwoodham