"I felt that there was something missing," Lyndsey's on-call firefighter journey
As national on-call fire-fighter week draws to a close, an Essex on-call firefighter has shared her experience of the role and offered advice to anyone thinking about applying.
Lyndsey Gymer, 38, is an on-call firefighter at Maldon Fire Station and has been in the role for almost two years.
“Before I joined Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) as an on-call firefighter, I was a full-time gym manager and busy mum to two little boys,” said Firefighter Gymer. “As much as I loved my career, I felt that there was something missing, and I was looking for an opportunity to do something that was fulfilling and rewarding.
“On an evening run, I saw a banner advertising for on-call firefighters at my local station.”
When people call 999, they rarely think about where the people who respond have come from, or what they were doing before they jumped in that emergency service vehicle.
If you asked for the fire service you might not expect that some or all of the crew had been in the middle of carrying out another job when they got your call.
As an on-call firefighter, that’s exactly what happens. At ECFRS there are over on-call firefighters 500 people who live or work within five minutes of their local fire station are paid to respond, when called, to an emergency incident.
Many are self-employed or work for local employers, which means they already have great knowledge of the local area and community as well as transferable skills. Others, like Lyndsey, join because they feel they need something more in their life or want to support their community.
“What I love about being an on-call firefighter is that you are doing something that helps your local community, people you see and speak to every day,” added Lyndsey. “There is a massive sense of pride in knowing that if your community needs you, you are ready and able to respond.
“My advice to anyone considering applying to be an on-call firefighter is just go for it. Any questions you have, there is always someone who can help, and the service is proud to be inclusive to all.
“I very much doubted my ability to be able to do the job, but the confidence you gain as a person, and the help and support you receive, I believe is second to none. “
Lyndsey enjoyed the role so much when the opportunity to apply for a wholetime position came along last year she jumped at it. Lyndsey is now a wholetime firefighter in Basildon alongside being an on-call firefighter in Maldon on her days off.
Inspired by Lyndsey’s story?
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is recruiting on-call firefighters across the county. To find out more visit: https://oncallfire.uk
Page last updated 7 March, 2021