Getting to know Declan


Last week was a really busy week for me. My day job is in River Island, I help customers and sort stock so I’d been there during the week. River Island has agreed that if I get a shout and my alerter goes off I can go which is really great of them. On Saturday, I had the day off from River Island, but if I hadn’t I’d have had to left there to go to a fire call. All of us retained Firefighters carry alerters (they look just like pagers) and they beep if there’s an emergency shout for us to attend. We then have to get to the Station as quickly as possible but obviously making sure we’re safe.

We went to a large fire in North Runcton just outside of Kings Lynn. I’m still at the point where sitting in the back of the cab, on blues and twos, driving through the countryside is quite a buzz, not sure how long that will last but right now it’s awesome. We worked really hard to get a water supply early on, there was lots of hose running which is something I am getting to be good at as you have to master the basics before you’re let loose on the technical stuff. I found out on Saturday what fire ground feeding is as well. If you’re at an incident for a long time you get fed. A local Rapid Relief Team came out to the fire to feed us and all the crews that were there. Within an hour of them being called they were on site with hot tea and coffee and not long after that a fantastic cheese and bacon burger! Who would have thought that I would be stood covered in mud from working beside a pond having a burger in a field. Brilliant. The boss said that over 48 hours they’d fed between 200 and 300 Firefighters which is so great of them. Can’t tell you how much we needed that. I have been back to that fire several times since then, it is expected to be burning for a few days yet. So all of us have to take turns to make sure people can do their day jobs and get some sleep, so I’m sure I’ll be back again. We had to keep an eye on it and make sure it didn’t spread. It’s too large to put out at the moment, but we have to monitor it and keep the area around it cool to make sure nothing else catches. As with any jobs there are dramatic bits and more boring bits, standing watching a fire to make sure it doesn’t spread isn’t the most exciting thing but it is important. When you’re watching icicles form in front of a fire it gives you the chance to get to know your crew. We had quite a laugh and the boss says its important for us all to be close, to work together as a team, especially when it’s really kicking off. I also had drill night on Monday and we had another shout then.

There was a small fire at the local sports centre. It was in the electrics, everyone was evacuated quickly and we soon had it dealt with. I got to work with some of the whole time Firefighters from Lynn on that job. One thing I have enjoyed is meeting different Firefighters from all over the county this weekend. Even my brother who is retained at Attleborough came over to North Runcton as a relief crew at one point!