Telecommunications Manager
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service

Telecommunications Manager
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service

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Steve D

00:00:03 Steve D, telecommunications manager, technical services department, Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service. I think working for the fire service you enjoy the, sort of the camaraderie. It’s quite a large organisation but it’s a friendly organisation, you get to know most people in the job and there is a lot of job satisfaction when things do go right. You do enjoy that and it’s nice to be able to see some of the fruits of your work coming to fruition.

00:00:39 I must admit I was not all that interested in school. I just wanted to leave at 16 and up until sort of the last few months I didn’t know what career to progress. I enjoyed physics and geography probably more than anything else and I think combining the two pointed me towards a career where I wanted to be, wanted to travel, I wanted to see the world. A good way of doing that was to join the Merchant Navy and because my father was in the Royal Corp of Signals and from a very young age he brought me a Morse key and tried to teach me Morse code and then in the Scouts I passed one of the badges which was a communicators badge or something of that ilk. I kind of thought, “Well, what job can I do that’s Morse code, that’s travelling.” Put two and two together and it was radio officer in the Merchant Navy and I joined what’s called a Marconi International Marine Company. And they used to rent out equipment to shipping companies and they’d rent the officer to operate that equipment and I joined my first ship in Newport, Gwent, South Wales, I could tell you the date, it was 14 July 1971 and I was terrified. And it was trepidation and all the fears of will miss home, will I be seasick, will I cope. But it was fantastic, I must admit. After the first, even after the first few hours you join the ship and everybody was suffering, like, because these were people you had to live with for, you know, up to 12 months. It was just a fantastic experience for me and I’d been abroad once before with the school on a trip to Germany. Other than that I’d never been outside of Britain so it was good, I enjoyed it.

00:02:39 Well, the driver for coming ashore was mainly my girlfriend at the time. I thought, “Well this is something, it will be good to see more of her and see more of my family as well,” but you always had the thought in the back of your mind that one day maybe I’ll go back to sea. I think I lost the desire to go back once I started working for the fire and rescue service because before that I was always working on ships and you’re always in close contact with ships so you’re thinking, “Well, one day I might go back,” but then when I broke from that to come and work for the fire and rescue service, that’s when I probably realised that this is a career change, a sideways career change but still a career change and maybe this could be my job for the rest of my life.

00:03:28 A way forward that you know there’s something you want to do be it a painter and decorator, a plumber, a doctor. I think if you set your career path early and decide maybe what you want to do, that helps, it focuses you into the right subjects to take at school. The right further education to go for and it kind of maps the way forward. There’s nothing cast in stone, you can always change it. Especially at an early age, you’ve still got your life ahead of you and hopefully you can, if you don’t like it, you can veer off and do something different.


Steve D is a Telecommunications Manager in Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service. "Well, what job can I do that's Morse code, that's travelling? Put two and two together and it was radio officer in the Merchant Navy". Eventually he came ashore for family and girlfriend and joined the fire service where he finds "there is a lot of job satisfaction".

More information about Telecommunications engineers

average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

5%  female 
95%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future Employment

Future employment?

? Telecommunications engineers install, maintain and repair public and private telephone systems and maintain, test and repair telecommunications cables.
There are no formal academic requirements, although entrants typically possess GCSEs/S grades or an equivalent qualification. Apprenticeships and traineeships combining work experience and practical training are available at NVQ/SVQ Levels 2 and 3.
  • Installs internal cabling and wiring for telephone systems and fits and wires junction and distribution boxes;
  • Fixes connecting wires from underground and aerial lines to premises and connects cable terminals to inside wiring;
  • Installs telephones, switchboards and coin operated phone boxes;
  • Uses testing equipment to locate defective components of circuitry and makes any necessary repairs;
  • Tests installation and makes any further necessary adjustments;
  • Assists with the erection of wooden poles or steel towers to carry overhead lines;
  • Connects cables and tests for any defects;
  • Locates and repairs faults to lines and ancillary equipment;
  • Erects and maintains mobile telecommunications infrastructure.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Telecommunications 18381
Specialised construction 9633
Legal & accounting 5729
Computer programming, etc 2745
Head offices, etc 1912
Repair & installation 1614
Civil engineering 1388
Retail trade 1227
Electrical equipment 1197
Electricity, gas, etc 1051
Employment status
Skill importance

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