Meet Trainee Firefighter Emmanuel Williams
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Meet Trainee Firefighter Emmanuel Williams

It’s like a calling, I see it as a calling
that this is who I am, I am a firefighter. I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter, from
the age of seven or eight years old. I’ve lived behind Old Kent Road Fire Station
and I’ve seen them train and seen them interact and stuff like that and I’ve always been like,
I want to be a part of that. I want to be part of a team. A lot of the responsibility of a London firefighter
today is going out into the community and actually preventing fires from happening in
the first place. We do get shouts, we do get fires but that’s
gone down drasticallly and that’s because of the work we do in the communities of fitting
smoke alarms, giving home fire safety advice, and just getting people to be more fire aware. It’s not just fires we deal with, we deal
with floodings and stuff like that, floodings, people who are suicidal and they’re thinking
of jumping off a bridge or stuff like that. There’s a lot of mental health involved, now,
that we respond to and also the new thing of co-responding. Our shift starts at 0930 in the morning and
we do a roll call, so the officer in charge – the watch manager – will just go through
what everybody’s responsibility is on the back of the appliance (fire engine), so who’s
going to be the nominated BA (breathing apparatus) crew, who’s going to be in charge of the ECB
– the entry control officer – who’s in charge of that and so forth, so everyone knows what they are doing. Basically the day starts from there. So we would have a lecture on whatever the
topic is, if it’s mass decontamination or pumps, ladders; we’ll go outside and do a
drill, if we don’t do a drill here, sometimes we have something called SR – strategic resources
– whereby you will be taken off the run for that day and you would go out to other fire
stations and all of you come together to do a massive drill that can be a BA drill, so
that prepares us for when we go on the frontline.We will be running through things like how to
set into a dry riser, what equipment you need to be taking in with you and so forth. So we will be doing some sort of training,
every day. They’re just really knowledgeable and really
passionate about their job and they’re not just trying to put on a front for me to be
like ‘oh yes, firefighters are amazing’, they really are truly great men and women that
I work with here. There’s a lot of laughter, we go out together
as well, after work, it’s one massive family here and no one is ever on their own, there’s
always someone to talk to, something to do. I’ve learnt a lot and it hasn’t been that
long that I’ve been in and I feel like, bring on the next job I know exactly what to do
these guys have helped me.


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