Watch Manager
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service

Watch Manager
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service

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Lynne G

00:00:03 Hi there, my name is Lynne G and I’m a watch manager with Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service. Basically my job is responsible for trying to improve the minority status of the fire service. We have a large white male organisation and my job is to try and look at ways of trying to encourage more women to join the fire and rescue service.

00:00:27 I’ve always had a very supportive family and friends network ever since as far back as I can remember so I think the support that I’ve always had has been from close siblings and I think we’ve, as a family we went through quite a lot so the support there and the encouragement was there so that kind of seed was planted from the family roots which I believe has kind of kept going, you know, and that’s probably the reason why, you know, I’m on this side of the fence. The reason I wanted to join the fire service was purely by accident. One of my friends was going through the whole process because her uncle had got her into it. I thought when I left school that I wanted to join the police and that was the path I was taking but I then changed my mind when I had a look at what the fire service had to offer through the eyes of my friend and then took on that mantel and I never looked back.

00:01:21 I had quite a bit of responsibility within my family. I was the eldest of three children and so as soon as I had the opportunity to leave and travel I took it. That was a massive influencing factor and probably the journey that I’ve had since then which was started when I was about 17. I went off and did an Operation Raleigh, or it’s now known as Raleigh International trip to Zimbabwe where I worked for three months and that, for me, has inspired the rest of my life, I think, and travel has been a part of my life ever since then. So, the fire service encouraging that with the fact that you get a lot of time off works well in that you can still, you know, you can still follow your passions as well as a really good career. And then the bonus on top of that is you get to help people and that’s really satisfying.

00:02:09 I never really thought from a promotion point of view, I always thought I would keep wanting to learn and wanting to know more within the fire service. I always knew that when I joined I wouldn’t, the plan would be to progress within the fire service and do well, hopefully, and obviously just take it in the sort of stride and opportunity and it’s only been as my career has gone on has my plan been a bit more in focus. It’s been a bit of a vague plan to begin with and now it’s kind a bit more articulated as I’m very, very comfortable in the place that I’m in just now so I’m now looking to learn. I’ve just started doing a degree and I’m looking to try and sort of think about what happens beyond being in this sort of what they call a supervisory management level. So, I’m now obviously thinking about what’s going to happen in the next five or 10 years and that would be to try and progress to the sort of middle management level.

00:02:59 If I could do anything in the world right now probably move to the north west of Scotland and live in the mountains and do mountain rescue or something like that. I think that’s more of a retirement dream where I would end up what I believe I’ll be doing when I’m older. If there was anything else I could do in the world without saying the usual world peace and all that kind of thing, I think I’m happy doing what I’m doing.

00:03:28 Be happy and if you don’t like it get out. If you’re going through life and you’re exposed to stuff, you have a choice and a lot of the biggest learning I think I’ve had out of all the experiences I’ve had whether it was work or travel have always been to be quite sort of strong willed and your mental capability is much, much stronger than your physical one. So, be sharp up top. That’s my biggest lesson, I think.


Lynn Gow is a Watch Officer in the Fire and Rescue Service. "Your mental capability is much, much stronger than your physical one. So, be sharp up top." She says " My job is to try and look at ways to encourage more women to join the fire and rescue service... I'm very, very comfortable in the place that I'm in just now so I'm now looking to learn. I've just started doing a degree."

More information about Senior officers in fire, ambulance, prison and related services

average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

25%  female 
75%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future Employment

Future employment?

? Fire officers plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the activities and resources of a specific physical or functional area of a statutory or private fire brigade/service and the resources necessary for the protection of property at fires within a salvage corps area. Ambulance officers plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the resources necessary for the provision of ambulance services. Prison officers (principal officer and above) plan, organise, direct, and co-ordinate the activities and resources necessary for the running of a prison, remand or detention centre. Customs officers plan and direct the work of customs, excise and immigration staff in the monitoring and inspection of goods and persons crossing national borders.
The position of senior fire officer is achieved by internal promotion. Entry to senior positions within the prison service and revenue and customs is either by internal promotion or by open competition; both organisations operate accelerated promotion schemes available to internal and external applicants. Entry to the prison service is subject to age restrictions, and both the prison service and revenue and customs impose nationality conditions. Entry to senior positions within the ambulance service is largely by internal promotion from supervisory roles.
  • Liaises with other senior officials and/or government departments to determine staffing, financial and other short- and long-term needs;
  • Prepares reports for insurance companies, the Home Office, Scottish Home and Health Department, and other bodies as necessary;
  • Advises on the recruitment, training and monitoring of staff;
  • Fire officers plan, direct and co-ordinate an operational plan for one or more fire stations, attend fires and other emergencies to minimise danger to property and people, arrange for the salvaging of goods, immediate temporary repairs and security measures for fire damaged premises as necessary;
  • Ambulance officers plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the activities of ambulance personnel and control room assistants, for the provision of ambulance services for emergency and non-emergency cases;
  • Prison officers interview prisoners on arrival and discharge/departure, receive reports on disciplinary problems and decide on appropriate action, make periodic checks on internal and external security, and provide care and support to prisoners in custody;
  • Revenue and customs, excise and immigration officers advise on the interpretation of regulations concerning taxes, duties and immigration requirements and enforce these regulations through monitoring of premises, examining goods entering the country to ensure correct duty is paid and establishing that passengers have the necessary authorisation for crossing national borders.
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Public admin. & defence 9093
Warehousing, etc 3727
Health 2042
Architectural & related 1089
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