Family Life and Control
By Sam Day
When joining Control I had only worked Monday to Friday, nine to five. I was young and very social, living for the weekend. It soon became apparent that I could no longer go out every weekend, and sometimes I felt I was missing out.
What unsurprisingly happened is that I began saving money from the occasional missed social event, and soon enough I was able to buy a house. I was able to channel a lot of energy into my house, and I was still able to attend many nights out. With the four on, four off shift system, I was able to work on my house without feeling like I was missing my social time.
My friends were in similar situations, yet had to do their painting and decorating, etc, on the weekend.
This midweek time off now benefits me greatly with my two young children. I am often able to take my children to (and collect from) school, attend school performances and assemblies, and help with school trips. I have days off in school holidays which helps with childcare, and it is wonderful to be around for the summer.
When I take a week off, it calculates as 12 days off in a row. This has meant we have managed family holidays, visiting friends, and even nice long “staycations” with my favourite people.
Avon Fire & Rescue Service has been very understanding with me taking time off when I’m needed at home, and we have a number of Control members who now work flexibly in order to take care of their children and families.
Now I am out of the nine to five life, I enjoy using my free time during the week to be productive, socialise with friends I may not otherwise have been able to see, and spend lots of time with my family.
You will no longer find me queuing to get into any supermarket or shopping centre on a Saturday or Sunday! No crowds for me thank you!