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People Profile – Ben Davis – On Fire 24/7

“As I walk about meeting people in the local area, I am sometimes interrupted by the blue, flashing light of a vehicle, driving along the road at great speed. As it passes me I notice big red letters on the side that read, FIRE, and I know someone is on an emergency call. We should be thankful for those men and women who risk their lives for us on a daily basis, especially at this time of year”.
-Writes John Spark.

 

I have been brought up around the fire service from a very young age, be it Cranleigh fire station or at Gatwick where my father was a firefighter for almost 25 years. Two of my uncles were part of the on-call team at Cranleigh for a number of years and my brother has been in the fire service for over 12 years now. I also have five of our family still serving today, so joining the fire service
seemed like the natural thing for me to do.

I love being in the fire service as we all have a really close bond within the station. You form friendships that will last a lifetime through working in some difficult and challenging situations.
The camaraderie within the station is fantastic but at the same time we know when to knuckle down and get things done. It really is like having another family.

Over the six years that I have been in the fire service we have been called to some pretty big fires in and around Surrey that I think will always be remembered by myself and my colleagues. But the ones that really stick with us are the incidents where we have helped people who’ve been unfortunate enough to be involved in traffic collisions.

It’s nice to hear back after a week or so that they are on the road to recovery, as that’s really in essence why we do the job in the first place – to help. Written by Ben Davis aged 34 and 10 months

 

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(Above: Cranleigh fire crew in the 1980’s)

 

Stewart Davis
Internal restoration and retired firefighter

Stewart is the father of Ben Davies and used to be a firefighter himself. 46 years ago he moved to Cranleigh when he was around 18 and was married 4 years later to his wife Chris, whom he had three children with. Along with Ben and a girl called Natalie, they had Barry, a full time fire investigator who served to inspire his brother into joining the force.

Stewart didn’t start off working for the fire services, his first job was at the local butchers in Cranleigh – Baxters –before he got his wish to join the Cranleigh fire department in 1979. He
was an on-call firefighter there for around 11 years, combining his part time hours with a full time job, self employed as a builder.

It wasn’t enough for Stewart though, who applied for a full time position at fire departments up and down the country before finally, Gatwick offered him the chance to take the entry exam for a place in the team. He passed and started a job as a full time firefighter in 1986.

It was working there that he encountered every conceivable incident you could imagine, from helicopter crashes to emotional situations like suicide calls. “Working in this job just isn’t possible without people skills” he told us.

He was trained as a PTI (physical training instructor), HGV (Heavy goods vehicle), Road Traffic, and First Aid instructor, and passed many qualifications that set him up for life, to save the lives of those around him. “It never goes away” He said “there was an accident outside my house last year and my experience just kicked in and I instinctively knew what to do”.

This is a natural instinct that a lot of us lack which is why we look to these brave people for help who take the time to learn it for us.

Even on an off duty trip to the local shops Stewart always carefully parked his car in order to make a quick getaway, to get to the firestation in the event of an emergency call or incident. As a part-time fireman, you only had a certain response time, in which to get there, or the fire engine left without you! He was therefore always on call.

Stewart retired in 2009 but he’s still on fire 24/7, ready to jump into action and be there for us. You may just need him this bonfire season.

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(Above: Cranleigh fire crew and officials in 1934 with Snoxhall fields in the background)

Join Our Frontline Force saving lives and protecting the Cranleigh community.
You Could Be The On-Call Firefighter We Are Looking For

We would like to hear from you if you can answer ‘Yes’ to all of the following:

  • I am at least 18 years old
  • I live and/or work up to a maximum of 4 minutes
  • from Cranleigh fire Station. (GU6 7AD)
  • I have a full current manual driving license valid for UK use (category B)
  • I am physically fit

Working shoulder to shoulder with full time firefighters – you will:

  • Receive the same extensive training for all types of emergency response situations
  • Learn new skills
  • Gain qualifications including First Aid and become a licensed Large Goods Vehicle driver
  • Respond from Work or Home
  • Get paid the same hourly rate as full time firefighters (around £9,000-£10,000 annually).
  • Enjoy experiences you’d never imagine
  • Be expected to give up approximately 50 hours of your time on a weekly basis.

 

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Being an On-Call firefighter is an exciting, challenging, and rewarding way in which you can serve your local community in a very real and practical manner. It also makes you a valued and respected member of your community.

The role of the firefighter involves a high level of commitment and personal discipline. You must be able to work as a member of a team and be willing to work hard in arduous conditions.

If you are employed by a company and intend to provide cover during work hours, you will need to get their support and approval for you to be released.

We are keen to take on new people who can offer: daytime or evening and weekend On-Call cover for the Cranleigh area.

The average annual pay is around £9,000 -£10,000 which is optionally pensionable. You will be expected to give approx 50 hours of On-Call cover at different times flexible during the week.

How do I apply?

To register your interest in becoming an On-Call firefighter, please complete and submit the online form at www.surrey-fire.gov.uk . This form is only for the position of an On-Call firefighter.

You must currently live or work up to a maximum of 4 minutes of Cranleigh fire station. If you are eligible to apply, we will hold a recruitment open day.

This event will help you to understand what is involved in the recruitment process for On-Call firefighters, including completion of the application form and an explanation of the On-Call duty system requirements. It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions and have a chat with uniformed officers. If you are successful with your application, the next stage will be psychometric assessments.

Contact Us

Website: www.surrey-fire.gov.uk
Email:
Phone: 01737 224058

 

 

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