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Jess, Firefighter


Yeah, my name is Jess Saxon and I’m a firefighter at Lutterworth Fire Station.

Looking at the Ladybird books, do you think your job is like the one depicted in the book?

Mainly in the book it was only illustrating really fighting fires, we do a lot more of a different role nowadays. We do obviously still do firefighting but we attend a lot of road traffic collisions; we attend a lot of humanitarian assistances, assisting people if they’ve fell over or if the ambulance call us to assist them with that. Breaking and entering, again for the ambulance service; animal rescue, that’s one of the specialist sections, that’s at Southern Station.

We do a lot of prevention as well now, we do home safety checks, school visits. We’ll visit and make sure people have a good understanding of what they were supposed to do if they did have a fire and ways that we can prevent fires, i.e., checking smoke alarms, fitting smoke alarms, and just talking through general advice for people on fire safety.

What are the main differences between now and then?

So, stereotypically in those books it’s white males, there’s a lot more female firefighters in the service, different religions, different ethnicities, so there’s a nice broad range of people. We can pull on all of their different experiences in their lives and then that makes us a better fire service and it also mirrors the community that we are responding to.

What things have stayed the same?

I think there’s a good sense of teamwork and stuff in the books that comes across as everyone having a good time at work, enjoying their work. Obviously, there is awful things that we go to and I think that having a good like camaraderie and team work in the work place that’s still stayed, and we still are helping people when they’re basically having the worst day of their life most of the time.

What makes your job special?

The best thing about the job that I do is that everyone’s always pleased to see us. We’re always helping people. People are always engaging with what we’re doing. Again you get to work as part of a team; no two days are the same, such a variety of calls that we get, you don’t know what you’re going to when the bells go down. It’s just a really good place to work, it’s a nice fulfilling job.

Have you always worked in Harborough?

So, I originally joined as an on call fire fighter in Hinckley, and then I migrated into whole time in the city centre, then I was moved to Lutterworth, so that’s how I came to this area.

What’s special about doing your job in the Harborough area?

It is a lovely area, it’s got lots of countryside. So when we’re doing training scenarios and things like that we go to Stanford reservoir, so on a sunny day when we’re pumping from open water or practising water strategies and things like that it’s a lovely place to be working in.

The people in the community are all very friendly, and we also have the motorway as well, we get a lot of RTCs that are interesting to work on due to the fact the cars are going so quick. And again, the country lanes, we see a lot of accidents on the country lanes, people going too quick and a lot of wildlife accidents round here as well, with like horses and stuff like that.