Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

Careers - Retained Crew Commander & Manual Technician

John Magee Position Retained Crew Commander & Manual Technician Lisnaskea Fire Station & Enniskillen District HQ
How long have you worked for Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service?
I started at Lisnaskea Fire Station on the 16th July 1986 as a Retained (part-time) Firefighter.  Being a Retained Firefighter means that I respond to emergency call outs when alerted by a beeper and make my way to the Fire Station to meet the rest of the Crew to respond to the incident.  Most Retained Firefighters will also have another job and mine is working for NIFRS as a Manual Technician in Enniskillen District, a role I-ve had since 2005.
What roles have you held during your career with Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service?
I started as a Firefighter at the tender age of 18, then progressed to Leading Fire Firefighter 5 years later.  I am now a Crew Commander at Lisnaskea Fire Station and am also employed as a Manual Technician by NIFRS.
Outline what a typical day is like for you when you are available for fire calls
In my role as Crew Commander, I respond to a wide range of emergency incidents such as fires, road traffic collisions and other specialist rescue calls with the rest of the Crew from Lisnaskea Fire Station.  The most typical calls are road traffic collisions, chimney fires and during the dry weather, gorse and forestry fires are also common.  I also carry out free Home Fire Safety Checks and operational intelligence visits.
During my day job as a Manual Technician I start work at 8am in Enniskillen District Headquarters.  I liaise with Watch Command Staff Support with regards work schedule for the day.
Some days involve travelling to NIFRS HQ in Lisburn to collect or transport goods.  Usual items I transport are Goods Requisitions, Works Defects, Fire Kit for laundry and Defective Equipment and Appliances.
At Headquarters I usually collect repaired equipment or appliances, laundry and mail to bring them back to Fire Stations in the District.  Other days involve delivering paperwork and stores items to different Fire Stations in the District.
After larger fires I replenish stocks of Breathing Apparatus (BA) Cylinders which involves travelling to Omagh District to recharge cylinders.  This is important to make sure the BA equipment is ready to use at the next fire.  I am also on call at night for Manual Technician work which could involve bringing additional equipment, appliances or even food to the fire ground at a prolonged incident.
What do you enjoy most about working for Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service?
I enjoy working within the community in which I live.  I enjoy helping people out, especially at times of need and distress.
I like being part of a team and enjoy the camaraderie that there is in a Fire Station.  We often talk about past incidents that we have attended to discuss the experience and to learn new ways of dealing with an incident.
I enjoy socialising with work colleagues.
How do you unwind off duty?
When I get the chance to unwind, which is not very often, I like to go to different musicals and concerts.  I love traditional music sessions like at the All-Ireland Fleadh.  I also enjoy watching the odd game of football.

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