Carrie reflects on lifesaving actions


​A Watch Manager from the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) Control Room has spoken of her pride after receiving an award for her lifesaving actions.

Watch Manager Carrie Nesbitt works on Blue Watch in Fire Control, and was awarded a Chief Fire Officer's Certificate of Recognition at the annual NFRS Awards Ceremony, after giving fire survival guidance to a young couple who were trapped in their house on Big Barn Lane in Mansfield.

Back in April, Carrie was on a night shift with her watch when a call came through in the early hours of the morning about a fire in a conservatory.

Recounting the events of that night, Carrie said: "As a Watch Manager it is normally my role to monitor calls, but on this occasion, I happened to pick up the call and became immediately aware of the woman's distress and how serious the incident was.

"After confirming the location and the fact that the couple had no way out due to the thick smoke coming up the stairs, I told them to shut the bedroom door and stay close to the ground after putting something at the bottom of the door frame to stop the smoke coming into the room. I was really pleased when she confirmed that they had done this and kept reassuring her that crews were on their way.

"The next 10 minutes consisted of keeping them calm even though they were extremely distressed and I made sure to keep updating them of how far away the fire engines were. I made sure to get as much information as possible, including their location in the house, which my colleagues then passed on the crews who were on their way. This meant that when they arrived, they could prioritise the rescue of the couple."

Carrie, who has worked in Fire Control for a number of years, also explained that the success of keeping the couple calm and making sure that the incident had a positive resolution was not all down to her.

She added: "One of the most important things about working in Fire Control is the team that you have around you, and at a time like this, everyone has a role, not just the person who is physically on the phone!

"While I am proud of being recognised with this award, I would like to take the time to acknowledge my colleagues who were on shift on that night as they passed on the information to crews that I was repeating from the phone call.

"I am really honoured to be part of such a close knit team which feels like a family, and we simply could not do the job that we do without the support of each other."

But what of the experience of helping those at their time of need?

Carrie also explained the feeling of what it is like to be help someone, and said: "As a member of the Fire Control team, it is our job to create safer communities by being the first port of call in an emergency.

"While it is rewarding to help people, there is also an element of emotion to the job and making sure to keep yourself calm for the good of the person that you are talking to.

"I won't deny that it can be scary at times, but your training always kicks in and pushes you to do your job and help others.

"Lots of people might think that once we hang up the phone that our jobs are done, but after the initial call, we are busy logging calls and radio messages from crews who are on scene, as well as liaising with other agencies, so it's a job that never really stops, but I am proud none the less to be part of this."

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