NFRS To Feature On BBC’s ‘Real Rescues’ Programme
The work of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Control Operators is to be highlighted on national television when the Service features in an episode of the BBC’s ‘Real Rescues’ programme on Monday 13 December.
The ‘Real Rescues’ series, which is currently being broadcast on BBC1 at 11am every weekday, aims to give a real-life look at the work of the 999 services, from the firefighters, police officers and ambulance personnel on the frontline to those working behind the scenes.
The episode on Monday 13 December will feature Control Operator Louise Robinson, who was invited to take part in the programme after giving fire survival guidance to a family trapped by fire in their Forest Town home. Knowing that the couple and two children were trapped upstairs in the house, Louise used all her training and professionalism to help keep the family calm and gave them advice on what to do to help keep themselves safe until fire crews arrived. This included telling them to stay by an open window so they had fresh air to breathe, and putting a duvet against the bottom of the bedroom door to prevent the smoke from coming in.
All of the Service’s Control Operators receive extensive training on how to give fire survival guidance over the phone to occupants that are trapped. A requirement of the job is the ability to be able to stay calm and focussed, as well as extracting as much information as possible about the location of the fire and the occupants themselves within the house. While one Operator is talking to the occupants, another relays the information to the crew en route. This means that when the firefighters arrive they have a much greater chance of being able to locate and rescue the occupants quickly and effectively.
Louise received a Chief Fire Officer’s Letter of Congratulations for her part in the incident, and was praised for the way in which she handled the nine-minutes-long call.
Group Manager Fiona Flewitt, who heads the Fire Control function at NFRS, said she was extremely proud of Louise’s achievement, and was pleased that she had been given the opportunity to take part in the programme.
“All of our Control Operators do a fantastic job, but because they’re at the end of the phone and not actually attending the incident, they often don’t get the recognition they deserve,” she said. “Being trapped inside a burning building is a terrifying experience for anyone, and the fact that there’s someone calm and reassuring on the end of the phone can make the world of difference to the occupants. In addition, the fire survival guidance given by our operators can quite literally help save lives in those vital few minutes before our crews arrive.
“I am really pleased that ‘Real Rescues’ is helping to highlight the marvellous work of all of our emergency services, including the contribution made by those members of the team who are not regularly in the public eye. “
Louise, who spent the day in Hampshire recording the programme, said: “It was a bit nerve-wracking at first having to talk about what happened on camera, but I’m pleased that ‘Real Rescues’ will help to highlight the important role played by the Control Operators in dealing with an incident.”