Celebrating 80 years of 999


​Working in Fire Control is more than just answering phones, and our control staff came together today to speak of their pride in working in such a varied job, in honour of the 80th birthday of 999.

Fire Control is split into four watches who work shifts of two days and two nights per week, and they are one of the the first ports of call in an emergency, but their job goes further than just taking calls, with them often giving out fire survival guidance, which undoubtedly saves lives.

In the last few months, Fire Control have given fire survival guidance to a couple trapped in a house fire in Mansfield, the occupants of a house in Retford, and a woman in a flat in Warsop.

Speaking on the anniversary of the emergency line, Watch Manager Dean Rukas, said: "I have worked in Fire Control for seven years now, and I can honestly say that no two days are the same, which makes the job so enjoyable.

"We go through a lot of training over a two-year period to ensure that we are capable of doing the job, and although a lot of people might think that it is a busy and stressful environment, we work together well as a team and always use our training to help us.

"One of the most exciting things about our job is that you never know what you are going to get. One minute you could be radioing crews at an ongoing job, and the next you could have an emergency call where you give out fire survival guidance.

"When we are giving guidance over the phone, we always try to keep people as calm as possible, and will stay on the line with them until the fire crews arrive. This can sometimes be one of the more challenging parts of the job as we are not able to see what is happening, but often we get feedback from the crews at a later date to inform us that there was a positive outcome, and this is very rewarding feeling."

Dean and his watch explained that working with operational crews out on station is an important part of their job.

Laura Keiller is a Firefighter in Fire Control, and said: "There's lots more to our jobs than just taking calls, and one of my favourite things about working in Fire Control is working with my team, which feels like a family as we spend so much time together.

"As we mobilise fire engines and other appliances, we have a lot of communication with firefighters who are out at incidents, and I am proud of my role where we get to work with and interact with so many people to keep people safe on a daily basis."

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