Community Firefighter
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service

Community Firefighter
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service

info Issues viewing the video?

Kenny J

00:00:03 My name’s Kenny J, I’m a community fire fighter for Group Five for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue. It’s my job to organise community visits for the operational fire fighters. They go to visit schools and give talks, go to coffee mornings and have home safety chats.

00:00:25 I couldn’t say that I ever said I wanted to be a fire fighter or consciously said that. All I knew that when I left school was that I didn’t want to work in an office. I was in the brass band in the orchestra at school and that was the way I thought my career would’ve gone. I actually applied to join the Royal Marine Brass Band when I was about 17. And the only thing that stopped me joining the Marines at that time, you’d need to remember that’s about 1970, 1971 was you had to get your hair cut to join the Army and it was not a cool thing for a guy to have a short hair cut at that time. So, that stopped me joining the Army. I know it seems very vain but that’s what I did. But then I left not knowing exactly what I wanted to do so I just knew I didn’t want to sit in an office from nine till five. So, I started working for Scottish Newcastle Brewers as a stock controller which got me out and about. Moved to a whiskey firm as a quality control officer which meant I was not in the office very often. Moved to another whiskey firm as a bottling and blending foreman and these jobs, by 1983 the companies I was working for, there was a problem with employment and they were talking about redundancies so I started looking for a job that had security because I was married and had one child and I had one child on the way. So, the secure side of this job interested me and I applied.

00:02:02 It took me 10 years, I think, to actually find what I actually wanted to do because even when I was working prior to joining the fire service I knew it wasn’t a job I wanted to do for the rest of my days so it just took a while for me to find out what I wanted to do. I like the team work, I like to be with the guys working as a squad, I really enjoy that. The banter that goes with that off duty and on duty, I’ve met a lot of really, really good guys I would consider are friends and it’s come through the fire service.

00:02:37 Personal turning point for me was getting married and having children. I think I made me realise that I had to be responsible for other people. A turning point in my career would be leaving the operational side and going to the training department. It made me open my eyes to what the fire service could actually offer me. I really enjoyed meeting people from all different walks of life, all age groups, it’s really interesting to pass on the information that I’ve picked up in my 26 years in the fire service.

00:03:10 The advice I give my children as they were growing up was to be their own person. If that meant that they were going to join the fire service I would’ve helped them the best I could have. But I encouraged them to stay on at school and to get the best qualifications they could and then to choose a career path that they thought was best for them. I didn’t think it was right for me to say that I’m in the fire service, it’s the best job in the whole world, I think you should become a fire fighter. I don’t think that’s right. So, I just let them choose their own career. ENDS


Kenny J is a Community Firefighter. His job is to prevent fires through education. "I like the team work, I like to be with the guys working as a squad... I really enjoy meeting people from all different walks of life, all age groups".

More information about Fire service officers (watch manager and below)

average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

8%  female 
92%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future Employment

Future employment?

? Workers in this unit group co-ordinate and participate in fire fighting activities, provide emergency services in the event of accidents or bomb alerts, and advise on fire prevention.
There are no formal academic requirements, although applicants to fire control roles must demonstrate basic literacy and numeracy, keyboard and communication skills. Applicants to fire-fighter roles must pass psychological, physical and medical tests. Some Fire and Rescue Services operate direct entry recruitment processes to managerial operational roles. There is a minimum age limit of 18 years for entry to fire-fighter and control operator roles.
  • Inspects premises to identify potential fire hazards and to check that fire fighting equipment is available and in working order and that statutory fire safety regulations are met;
  • Arranges fire drills and tests alarm systems and equipment;
  • Travels to fire or other emergency by vehicle and locates water mains if necessary;
  • Operates hose pipes, ladders, chemical, foam, gas or powder fire extinguishing appliances;
  • Rescues people or animals trapped by fire and administers first aid;
  • Removes goods from fire damaged premises, clears excess water, makes safe any structural hazards and takes any other necessary steps to reduce damage to property;
  • Attends and deals with bomb alerts and accidents involving spillage of hazardous substances;
  • Advises on fire safety measures in new buildings;
  • Supervises a watch.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Public admin. & defence 22103
Computer programming, etc 2357
Health 2142
Services to buildings 1135
Employment status
Skill importance

From personal careers advice to finding work, see our round-up of
useful websites to help you on your way

Explore more videos by: