It’s time for a new blogger! Meet Paul, he’s 50 years young (his words not ours! 🤣) He’s only been retained for 2 years and wants to share his journey, what it’s like joining the Fire Service at 48!
01 December 2017
Hi everybody, my name is Paul, I am 50 years young, run my own flooring business with my wife Debbie and I am a retained firefighter based in Long Stratton, The number 1 retained station in Norfolk (Inter station banter)
When I was a younger lad I always had a vision of being a fireman, but I am not going to lie to you, I am vertically challenged, I am 5`3” tall, so back in the day you had to be 6` to make it into the Brigade, so that was that!! Anyways I carried on through life became a carpet fitter and floor layer and then at the age of 28 and just a few months after the birth of my first son Josh, my wife Debbie and I started our own commercial flooring business, and to be fair we have never looked back. Debbie and I have been running the company for 21 years and we currently have around 8 or 9 guys working for us at any one time.
We live very close to Long Stratton and since moving here around 11 years ago I have made some very good friends after getting involved in some community functions and positions, I have for the last three years been involved in the youth football teams for the Long Stratton Football Club, I initially got involved as my youngest son Jayden started playing for the under 11s, which at the time was run by a guy called Ricky Braddon, Ricky is a whole time firefighter and is also retained at Long Stratton, another parent involved in the football club and who was running the under 8s at the time was Kevin Flaxman, he too is a whole time fire fighter and also the watch manager at Long Stratton. These guys as well as all the guys in our station have become very good friends and as a group we do lots of things together, such as Mountain biking, road cycling, football, Tough Mudder (along with all the lads from the Long Stratton 1st football team) running and we always find time for a bit of a social occasion, always mindful of the importance of keeping a pump on the run!
Let me tell you how I first got started on my road to becoming a firefighter, whilst helping out at a football training session, Rick and Kev asked, after talking about their jobs as fire fighters, if I was interested in becoming a retained FF with Long Stratton, not knowing to too much about it they told me what was involved, and I said I would love to give it a go. I am pleased to say I haven’t looked back. My hope for this blog is that some of you will learn more about what it’s like to be retained and some of you might be so curious you join up like me!