My name is Carl T, I’m a shift team leader in the tinters filling area. I’m also a Suffolk retained fire fighter. I work over a twenty-four hour period, three shifts, be it six until two, two to ten, ten to six, and I have the responsibility of looking after the filling area. And that entails making sure the safety, and also production, and the quality constraints, and targets are also met during that shift.
00:00:28 I came to PPG when I left school. I started down here as a temporary operator. Within about four months I was made to a full-time operator. I finally ended up as a temporary team leader. I was about twenty/twenty-one at that point. At the time I was one of the youngest team leaders on the plant. To have to instruct older men – some of them my father’s age – of what I needed to do was a challenge. Some people saw it as a young upstart coming in telling them the job that they already know, and some saw it as, well, we’ll give the kid a chance and see how he gets on.
00:01:06 It was always my ambition to be a full-time fire fighter. I progressed through the A levels, eighteen came along, and I tried to join Suffolk for the first time. I didn’t make the qualification, unfortunately. I got through to the last, sort of, half a dozen but didn’t get any further. Since the age of fourteen, I’d been going along to the local retain fire station in Stowmarket to get a bit of experience and knowledge on what was going on, so it was then said ‘Well, why don’t you come and try out for us as well?’ So that’s what led me down the path of being a retained fire fighter, which I’ve been doing now for the last eleven years.
00:01:038 I’m a fire fighter both on site and also for Suffolk, and when we’re on shift we actually cover the plant for fires, spills, or any incident that actually happened. The contract I have is twenty-four hours cover, three hundred and sixty-five days a year, constant. PPG let me respond from work. I pay the hours back. So if I’m missing for an hour during the day then at some point during the rest of the week I’ll make that hour back.
00:02:02 One of the most rewarding moments is one that happened a couple of weeks ago. Back on April 2nd we attended a road traffic collision. The extrication of that person out of this vehicle was very, very tricky. It was looking at about three quarters of an hour to fifteen minutes before we could actually get this person out. I’d been doing casualty care throughout that time so I was getting quite a close relationship with the person in there. Two weeks ago the actual guy visited the station to sort of say how well he was doing, so that was a nice way for us to meet him again, because we do help a lot of people out, and I reckon we’ve maybe had half a dozen in my career that come back and say ‘thanks very much for what you did.
00:02:34 We don’t do it for the thank you, but it’s nice to see how they’ve progressed and how they’ve got on since we’ve come across them. I also work heavily with the Salvation Army within Stowmarket. I’m a youth worker for them and I look after the age group from twelve up to eighteen, so I currently have about fifteen teenagers which I have to look after and try to mentor spiritually and also culturally as well.
00:02:58 To actually see young people having a positive influence and effect on their local community is fascinating. I’ve been going to church all my life. My parents brought me up. It was a case of when you get to an age group ‘which way do I go? Do I actually carry on, or do I go down a different path and walk away from the church?’ I was thankful that I had a group of friends, there was about five or six of us all went to the same school, same church, so we kept our way through and kept us together.
00:03:26 Parents are always naturally proud of their children. They’ve supported me throughout my career choices. My father is a huge friend of mine – a rock. There’s nothing he can’t do. DIY, any problems I have, I get on the phone and say ‘Dad, can you come round?’ and he’s there straightaway. I hope that I can be the same sort of father to my children eventually, when we think about having them. If there was one thing that someone could remember me by, hopefully in many years time when I’m not here, that Carl Theobold made a difference. And I think the career path that I’ve chosen, and also the church life that I’ve chosen, I would hope that someone would be able to turn round and say ‘Yes, Carl Theobold made a difference for that person.’ ENDS