John Buckley - Chief Fire Officer
I first joined the fire and rescue service across the border in Derbyshire, after seeing an advert in the local newspaper seeking retained firefighters. The advert attracted me at the time as it made the job sound important for the community, in terms of providing fire cover, and also offered training in a range of areas that would help me in my full time job – such as first aid, team working and leadership. Very soon after joining the retained crew in Heanor, I realised that being a firefighter was a really rewarding role that suited me really well, so when the opportunity arose for me to apply for a wholetime role I submitted an application straight away. My first two attempts actually failed, but fortunately on the third attempt I was successful. I went on to join Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service in 1996, and the rest is history... For anybody thinking about joining our team as a firefighter, I would seriously encourage you to get in touch with your local crew. Not only is it personally a rewarding job, but it will also see you helping to keep people in your local area safe – as well as giving you a wide range of new skills. If you haven’t thought about joining us, I would strongly advise having a look at the information on the careers page on our website. You may already have the skills to be a fantastic firefighter, you just don’t know it yet!
Prior to joining the Service I had always wanted to carry out an active and worthwhile job. I had started working at a company across the road from the retained fire station in East Leake and I could see the fire engine turning out to incidents from my window. I started to wonder whether this could be an exciting job to do and so I spoke to one of the local firefighters who told me to pop into the station the following week. I've never looked back!
The best part of the job is that you never know from one minute to the next what you are going to be attending. As soon as the alarm sounds you start to wonder what has happened and all you want to do is go and help people in their time of need. It's obviously not always a happy ending but we always help people the best we can. To anybody thinking of joining us, I would simply say do it as you will absolutely love it. You are forever learning new skills which not only benefit the Service, but also yourself in day to day life. Helping people within your local community in their time of need is extremely rewarding and, whilst it is a big commitment, it's worth it to get paid for doing a job you love!
I wanted a job that wasn't just about making money, but about making a difference to people's lives. The fire and rescue service gives me the opportunity to do this, every day. There is so much more to the job than just firefighting, I love the community side of the role - whether that be school visits, home safety checks or visiting care homes. Going out as a firefighter and being in the community is a great feeling, its also a job that allows you to balance your work and family life, due to the shift patterns. If you're put off by your perceptions of the job is, please stop! Come and speak to a firefighter, they will tell you that there is so much more to it than you realise.
I've always wanted a career where I can help my community. A job in which you never know what's going to happen next, something that gives you the chance to keep bettering yourself as an individual. A job for life. The best thing, for me, is knowing that as a team we make a difference to our community - that makes me proud to wear the badge. If you're thinking of joining us, I would definitely say come along to one of our recruitment open days or attend a firefighter awareness event. If you love it, then go for it and let nothing hold you back - follow your dreams! Good luck, see you on the incident ground!
I had been a youth worker in my previous career and had also worked in a support role for another fire and rescue service. I saw what firefighting was actually all about and really wanted to do it as I wanted a change. It isn't just what it looks like on TV! Personally I love my job as every day is different and requires a variety of skills and strengths. Its a challenge, both physically and mentally, which gives a huge sense of achievement when it all comes together. I enjoy working in a team and there's always support when you need it. There's also lots of training even after your initial course, so it's interesting to keep adding to my skills and improving my knowledge in a variety of areas. If you want the job, never give up. Train and prepare well for the application process, ask lots of questions and use any contacts you have to do your research!
I get a lot of satisfaction from helping others and for me this job is the ultimate way in which I can assist the community, whilst increasing public safety. The best thing about being a firefighter is that you get to work as part of a team to help others, and I would advise anyone wanting to join us to try and attend one of the events being held across the county. They give prospective candidates the opportunity to get a feel for what the job actually entails, as well as being able to ask operational firefighters any questions they may have about the role.