A teenager hoping to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather starts her days as a milk farmer and tester before throwing her uniform on and fighting fires in her role as an on-call firefighter.
It’s not just about fires, it’s about everything else that comes with the role of being on-call.
Lucy Richardson, who works on a farm milking cows in Gnosall at weekends, joined Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service as an on-call firefighter in November 2019 at Brewood Fire Station.
The 19-year-old, whose grandfather works as a watch manager at the same station, works between 60 to 120 hours a week alongside her job at the farm in Gnosall and her other role as a milk recorder which sees her test and sample milk.
Lucy said: “I’ve always thought about joining the service as a firefighter so it was natural for me to apply to become a retained firefighter.
“It’s a big responsibility and a huge step to take but I enjoy the thrill of it. I’m only three minutes away from the station and I’m always up early in the morning to visit different farms and send tests off to labs so I have the rest of the day to myself so I choose to go on call.
“On-call firefighters can pick their hours and it’s really flexible, you can work day or night.”
Lucy travels to different farms across the county to test milk from every cow as part of dairy farm contracts.
Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service is recruiting for on-call firefighters across the county. On-call firefighters provide emergency response cover from either their home or work base, which needs to be within five minutes of their local station. After the initial training course, on-call firefighters will attend weekly drill nights to ensure they maintain their skills, along with many more opportunities for training throughout the year.
As well as responding to emergencies, on-call firefighters can also get involved in community fire safety initiatives in their local area, including home fire risk checks and school visits.
She added: “I’d say to anyone that’s interested in becoming an on-call firefighter to go for it. It’s not just about fires, it’s about everything else that comes with it from the people you work with to the skills that you learn.
“We’re potentially saving a life at the end of the day which is a massive pat on the back.”
Anyone looking to become an on-call firefighter must by over 18 and live within five minutes of their nearest station. For more information, visit: https://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/careers/retained-on-call-firefighters/.