November is such a dull month. For the Fire Service, like any other organisation, it is a bit of a nothing period apart from bonfire night. Christmas is just around the corner and the hiatus is endless. Rain, chilly winds and heavy frosts are the predominant weather of this month. Fire-wise, the excitement of the lead up to and of bonfire night with endless calls to rubbish fires and out-of-control bonfires is the highlight of November.


The Control Room Operator

If anything, dayshifts are worse than nights and can be tedious, repetitive and few calls of particular note. Tracy Hawkins, a fire control operator of five years’ service, working on one such day on Red Watch, Dee Road Reading on the 20th of the month in 1992, was thinking just that as she boiled a kettle for her tea break in the control rest room. As she settled down for a sip, a red light flashed and a buzzer sounded alerting her to return to the control room crewed by her three colleagues.


Read the full article on our digital issue, page 23-27.

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