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On-call award for University of Nottingham School of Health Sciences

Posted on 08 April 2024

The University of Nottingham's School of Health Sciences has been recognised for its ongoing support to Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.

On Monday 18 March, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service presented an award to the School of Health Sciences in recognition of their continued support.

The University department has been recognised after showing strong support to one of their employees who is also an on-call firefighter at Stapleford Fire Station.

Aaron 'Fez' Fecowycz is an on-call firefighter at Stapleford and works as a Learning Technologist at the University of Nottingham's School of Health Sciences.

As Aaron's primary employer, the School of Health Sciences have released him to attend the basic firefighter training course and other courses. They have an agreement in place which allows Aaron to provide cover three full days a week, between 7am – 7pm when he is most needed. 

Aaron's first day on call in 2022 coincided with the day of a major heatwave incident across Nottinghamshire. Over the next 48 hours Stapleford would attend nearly 30 calls. Fortunately, this isn't standard with Stapleford's average call out being once per day for an average of 46 minutes. 

Aaron said: "I feel incredibly privileged to be an on-call fire fighter responding to emergencies and helping to make my local community safer. 

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue has taught me new skills, enhanced my team working practices, and enabled me to develop and grow. I feel this growth has enhanced my offering to my primary employer, making me a better employee.

"To anyone considering becoming an on-call firefighter I cannot recommend it highly enough, it continues to be one of the very best things I have ever done. For employers, enabling employees to become on-call firefighters offers the opportunity for the growth and development of their staff members and for them to bring new skills and new confidence back into the workplace."

Area Manager Andy Macey, Head of Response for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "It is employers like the University of Nottingham who are flexible and empowering of their colleagues, that allow us to maintain fire cover and keep the people of Nottinghamshire safe.

"Not only does the fire and rescue service benefit from Aaron's skills from his day job, but the University benefits from the range of skills he has learnt as a firefighter. Having an on-call firefighter on board is beneficial to both organisations and we want to thank the University of Nottingham's School of Health Sciences for their ongoing support."

Julie Evans, Head of Operations at the School of Health Sciences, said: “The School of Health Sciences are really happy to have been able to support Aaron to become an on-call firefighter. It is a pleasure to be able to work with our partners at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service to enable Aaron to fulfil this ambition and support the on-call firefighter scheme to the benefit of our workplaces and the wider society. Aaron has done and is doing a fantastic job both here at the University of Nottingham, and within his role with Stapleford on-call.” 

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service are currently recruiting for on-call firefighters at 16 stations across the county. You can visit our webpage for an insight into the role of an on-call firefighter, the type of activities you could expect to be involved in, as well as further details about the recruitment process.

Aaron, Cherry and Andy smile in front of the fire engine as the award is presented. Aaron in the centre holding the award, flanked by students and members of staff.