Company Group Manager
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service

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Tom M

00:00:03 I’m Tom M from Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service and I’m company group manager within the organisation. Basically we were at a fire last night, the building’s under construction. The call came in round about two o’clock in the morning and I got called in as safety officer making sure that the fire fighters are safe, the public are safe and all the other emergency services are safe. So, I was there till about nine thirty this morning dealing with that so it was a successful conclusion, you know, as far as fire fighter safety is concerned. So, I’m quite happy with that.

00:00:39 I was at one of the local schools and in simple terms, I probably didn’t do as well as I could’ve done. Looking back, hindsight’s a great thing. Looking back saying, “I wish I’d done this and I wish I’d done that.” The outcome was still the same, I still came into a career that I wanted to do but if I had my time again, certainly at school, I would’ve done a lot. I left school with very minimal qualifications which meant because I didn’t stick in at school, I always tell my boy that, “You must stick in at school,” you know, and probably everyone’s heard that, you know, from their parents. But basically I left school at 16, 17. There was never any doubt in my mind since I started thinking about what I was going to do in the future that I was ever not going to join the fire brigade. Having been brought up in a fire brigade as it was at the time, in that environment, and being around fire fighters who, really strangely, I am now their boss, which is a really, really weird situation. So, I would say this was what I always wanted to do and I want to have a career but when I did that, that was maybe the question. Because there was things, you know, will I take a trade, will I do something. Because you can’t join the fire brigade till you’re 18 so what do I do? I left school slightly earlier so I had to fill in the gap so I still had that thinking to do.

00:02:14 Single event is probably meeting my boy for the first time. My son doesn’t actually live with me so meeting him because I didn’t actually meet him until after he was born. A lot of people say, “Well, you know, why? Why was that?” That’s life, you know, we split up, you know, and this is what happened and from meeting him for the very first time was probably the biggest impact and actually having guiding him through his schooling and hopefully setting his sights to the future I take on a big responsibility for that. You know, so that had a huge impact on me and one of the impacts that’s been beneficial for me.

00:03:00 I’ve possibly got about nine years to go but when I see myself certainly within the fire and rescue service is I can see myself staying on because I do enjoy it. So, probably I can see myself promoted and taking on a more senior role.

00:03:17 You know, I’ve got a career, a good career just now, is there anything I would change about that? No. Anything that I would change about my personal life? I can’t see it because I feel that I’ve learnt through stressful times as everyone has personally and I’ve come through the other end and I feel quite content with everything and the decisions that I made in my life whether they’ve been right or wrong which is natural and I’ve come through that and learnt through that and really, there’s probably nothing, I’m not looking for much now that I really want to do because I feel that I’m quite content with everything. Apart from going on a nice cruise in a warmer climate would be great but I think everyone would want to do that.


Tom M is a Company Manager with Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service. “About two o’clock in the morning and I got called in as Safety Officer making sure that the Firefighters, the public and all the other emergency services are safe. This was what I always wanted to do.”

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

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

74%  male 
26%  female 

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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