A fire station shift supervisor from WOODSTOCK shared his experiences after 18 years of service.
Nick Mason, an on-call firefighter for the Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, compares working for the service with his favorite sport, rugby.
The former Witney Rugby Club scrum-half, who he did for 14 years, said: “Like in a rugby team, there’s a place for everyone in fire and rescue, from the toughest to the slim sprinter, the slow and the big one.”
Mr Mason, 59, has faced a wide range of incidents such as children getting their heads stuck in railings and chopping down trees to save cats.
He said: “I once got a call to rescue a boy who was stuck in a doorway, who turned out to be a Labrador. Boy. Laboratory. It’s amazing how a cracked line can cloud expectations of what we’re going to find.
“I can assure you that, whether it’s an animal or a human, we treat every incident seriously, and I’m delighted that we quickly rescued the pooch.”
Interacting with local communities is one of the main things Mr. Mason enjoys, such as organizing road safety events, visiting schools, visiting homes to install smoke detectors.
He also enjoyed participating in fundraising events such as car washes to benefit the firefighters charity.
He said: “We tend to have a topic for each month of the year to deliver a seasonal safety message to the public. My station is also prolific in fundraising for children in need.
He added that there are “challenging aspects to the role” such as attending serious injury incidents, but the fire service has “evolved to protect and support its crews through difficult times”.
Mr Mason is now urging others to sign up, including the older generation.
He said, “If you don’t try, you don’t know. Any new recruit will receive first-class physical training and because today’s fire service is about more than putting out fires and witnessing major incidents, intellect is just as important as skill. strength.
“Our young recruits are stars but we often lose them too quickly. When they start out, they may live at home but then leave the area to find their own place or to pursue their career dreams, on-call firefighters are only part-time.
“I guess my message is you’re never too old to be considered. I’ve been a firefighter for 18 years and I love it as much as the day I started.
For more information visit: Oxfordshire.gov.uk/oncallfirefighters or email [email protected]
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