Father and son speak about their pride of being on-call firefighters

To mark Father’s Day this year, we wanted to introduce you to two of our on-call firefighters who not only work together, but are also father and son!

Kevin and Sean Bacon are both on-call firefighters at Burton Community Fire Station. Together they support the local community and the surrounding areas by responding to a range of fire and rescue incidents when they occur.

Along with the rest of the on-call crew, the two are trained to deal with a variety of emergencies such as fires, road traffic collisions, animal rescues and floodings.

Kevin first joined the Fire Service in 1984, which means he has been an on-call firefighter for an incredible 40 years. He said: “It was a neighbour that got me to join the Fire Service with him. So I thought this is a chance for me to have a career, be part of an organisation that cares about and helps people. I got hooked and I’m still here, 40 years later!”

Being an on-call firefighter becomes part of family life and that was no different for Sean, Kevin’s son. He followed in his dad’s footsteps and became an on-call firefighter 17 years ago. Sean said: “With my dad being an on-call firefighter at Tutbury, before we moved to Burton, I pretty much grew up around the station and crew.

“With both my dad and uncle being on-call firefighters, it was very much in the family and influenced me from a young age as that’s all I wanted to be growing up. So I finally joined when I was 21 – but my dad didn’t even know I’d applied, I wanted to surprise him if I was successful and see his reaction.”

A lot of our crew say that their colleagues become like their family, but for both Kevin and Sean, that is literally the case. “As a crew, you create a strong bond. You have each other’s back, you put your trust in them and support each other. It’s even nicer for me as I get to have all of that with my dad by my side too.

“Working alongside my dad is great. We have a really good relationship and his experience is invaluable, not just to me, but to the whole crew.”

Sean added: “We attend quite a few jobs together and when we do, it’s always nice to know that I’m with my dad. He is a massive asset to the watch for us to ask for his experience and advice.”

When the pair aren’t on-call, they continue with their other commitments such as primary employment and hobbies. Kevin works night shifts at Argos while Sean works as an assistant branch manager, yet they still find time in their busy schedules to being on-call and helping their local community.

Kevin said: “For me, the best thing about the job is that no two calls are ever the same; it’s not always about putting fires out. You can get a call about anything from rescuing animals to chimney fires, road traffic collisions to grass fires, floodings and so much more – the list is endless, but no matter the incident, you’re always helping someone.”

Sean added: “Being part of a team like this, everyone brings something different to the table but we all have the same mindset which is to make a difference where we can.

We are recruiting for on-call firefighters at Burton and other stations across the county. If reading Kevin and Sean’s story has encouraged you to become an on-call firefighter and make a difference in your community, visit our website to find out more and apply: https://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/careers/on-call-firefighters/