Nine new firefighters join on-call fire stations across Essex
Nine new on-call firefighters have completed their training and joined on-call fire stations across Essex.
Essex County Fire and Rescue’s newest on-call firefighter recruits started the six-week course in January and covered core skills such as ladders, water pumping and road traffic collision.
For Kevin Bloomfield, 44, becoming an on-call firefighter was a lifelong ambition.
Firefighter Bloomfield, who runs a workplace furniture consultancy, has joined Wivenhoe's on-call crew. He said: "I really wanted to be a firefighter when I was younger and I applied in the early Nineties but the Service wasn't recruiting.
"I ended up going down a different career path but now I'm in the position where I run a business with my partner and I'm able to give up my time.
"I was worried about keeping up with the younger members of the team but I was ok. I trained with a really great bunch of people and we're all still in touch with each other."
Since he joined his station, Firefighter Bloomfield has been called to two incidents already. He said: "It was a real adrenalin rush when the pager went off the first time – even though it turned out to be an Automatic False Alarm because someone had left the bacon on the hob for too long."
Ray Cogan, a former Army diver who is now part of the safety team at a groundworking firm, has joined Stansted's on-call crew. He applied to become an on-call firefighter after talking to a friend who carries out the role in Hertfordshire.
Firefighter Cogan said: "I started listening to my friend with a lot of interest and it appealed to me so, after toying with the ideas for a few months, I applied in June 2020.
"The training was really good. Coming from an Army background where I thought I was going to be screamed and shouted at, but I found the approach really refreshing.
"The training team were fantastic; they coached and guided us and I was able to learn and more that way, it is a much better way to take on information."
"There was a really good mix of people, with different ages, genders and backgrounds, which was fantastic to be part of. You can learn a lot from different people."
Congratulations to all nine new on-call firefighters: Kevin Bloomfield (Wivenhoe), Teresa Claxton (Great Baddow), Ray Cogan (Stansted), Alistair Fuller (Maldon), Luke George (Stansted), Michael Lawrence (Coggeshall), Andrew Moss (Saffron Walden), Nicole Redgewell (Dunmow), Matthew Smith (Ingatestone) and Woody Whymark (Tiptree).
Do you live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station?
If you're over 18 and have a good level of fitness you could apply to be an on-call firefighter. For more information visit https://oncallfire.uk
Page last updated 6 March, 2021