In the first of our ‘Let’s meet the team’ series, we catch up with Firefighter Lottie Green over a cup of tea to find out about what she does for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Eastleigh Fire Station, on Red Watch
So how long have you been with the Service?
Ten years altogether – one year at Copnor, two at Southsea, six at Andover and one so far at Eastleigh!
As a firefighter, what sort of training have you got involved in?
All sorts! Firstly, I am a blue light emergency response driver (ERD) and I drive the fire engines, water carriers, land rovers and our new 27 tonne foam response units, oh and the fork lift truck!
I instruct in casualty and trauma care (Immediate Emergency Care) and I’m also a fitness training instructor. I have special interests in fire investigation and animal rescue, and I have recently completed an animal rescue level 2 course.
So what part of your job gets you up in the morning?
Making someone’s day just that little bit better, whether it’s giving them some helpful home safety advice, rescuing them from a lift that’s stuck, extricating them from a damaged car or just offering some kind words on what is probably going to be a very bad day for them.
Tell us about what you might get up to on a typical day?
Day shifts start with checking the kit on the fire engine, followed by information exchange over a cup of tea. We then we do operational training, fitness training, community safety work and respond to fire calls throughout the day, hopefully squeezing in a lunch break. At the end of the shift, we clean the engine and make sure all the kit is ready to hand over to the oncoming watch.
Night shifts start in the same way and we eat our supper when we can before bedtime between midnight and 6am. We’re lucky if we manage to spend the whole night in bed though – we usually have at least one wake up call! Mornings are spent doing the station routines and standard tests, ready to hand over to the incoming watch.
How does that work with family life?
Really well actually. Working night shifts allows me to have more daylight hours to spend with my horses, the dog and most importantly my family. I have a three year old son, Freddie, who is a ball of energy at the moment and loves that we are around most days to do activities with him.
Obviously, you will have been to many incidents, can you tell us about your most memorable one?
My favourite shouts are when one of the crew makes a fool of themselves. It’s so important to be professional and make people feel confident in you, but there are times when you just have to laugh at one another. That’s what forms the camaraderie within a watch, you must be able to laugh at yourself!
Keeping yourself fit and healthy must be important, what do you do to keep yourself in shape?
I have two horses, my time is mainly taken up with riding and caring for them. I am a member of British Eventing and South Wilts Riding Club and I try to pack as much in as possible, to the detriment of housework unfortunately!
I am a keen runner, having run the London marathon in 2012 and 2014, my best time was 3 hours, 16 minutes and 22 seconds. I have no desire to try and beat that time, so now I just run for fitness and fun.
How do you switch off?
Going for rides in the beautiful countryside with my horses, long hot baths (sadly they don’t happen often with a three year old!), any kind of sweet treat and an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Do you get out much socially as a team?
We do try and go out as a watch as much as we can. Favourites are quad biking, clay pigeon shooting, bowling, days down at the beach, watch BBQs and nights out in town. Christmas is always a lovely time to catch up with the watch members’ other halves and swap funny stories that they may not have heard.
And finally, what would you say that you are most proud of at work?
Looking back ten years ago, I’m proud of how much I have achieved and developed over the years, passing out of training school was a special moment, along with the pride that comes with responding every time the bells go down.
Out of work, I am proud of my little family and the three years I spent studying for my degree in Equine Science at Sparsholt Agricultural College. Regardless of what subject your qualification is in, it shows that you can work to a certain standard, which is something I’ll always be proud of.
Thanks to Lottie for spending some time with us to share a bit about what she gets up to in her job. Watch out for the next ‘Let’s meet the team’ to find out more about what happens across the Service. We look forward to seeing you next time.