I’m a firefighter with Avon Fire & Rescue Service and I’ve been in the job for 13 years.
I’ve got three children, they’re 25, 19 and nearly six and my eldest daughter has two children so I’m a grandmother as well and my grandchildren are four and two.
I’m really busy. I’m always busy outside of work – I rarely get five minutes to myself so it’s quite hard, but juggling children and a career is great. I manage it, I’ve got childcare arranged and our shift pattern is amazing and works out great for me with four days on (two days and two nights) and four days off so I get a lot of time with the children and the grandchildren.
What do you enjoy about working for Avon Fire & Rescue Service?
The feeling of self-achievement really, pushing yourself to do a lot things you wouldn’t normally get to do in everyday life and helping people. I love the driving, going on blue lights to a shout it amazing and all the traffic moving out the way for you does make you feel quite good.
Do you need to stay fit?
Fitness is quite high. You need to train and we get allocated an hour in the gym, daytime and in the evening and obviously that’s dependent on whether you get any fire calls so you try to fit it around that. Fitness does need to be quite high so you can always come in and do some training with us and see how you feel.
Would you like to see more women in the job?
It would be nice to see more women in the job, definitely. Come and join and don’t be put off because there are a lot of men there, it’s all one big family and everybody looks after each other.
Is that family atmosphere important to you?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2013. My Watch were brilliant, and all the other watches. I’m currently on White Watch and I got sent flowers at home – it looked like I had a florist!
Everyone was great; great messages and without the humour and the support I got from the Watch and the rest of the watches I don’t think I’d have made it through quite so well.
I had some great support and they kept me laughing the whole time. It’s one big huge family and I really appreciate that.
What would you say to anybody thinking of applying?
Do you know what – anybody can do this. If you really want to go for it, you can do it and make your dreams come true. I did and I’ve never regretted it – this is the best job I’ve ever had.