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Watch Manager – Operational Trainer

Name: Ruth

Role: Watch Manager – Operational Trainer

Ruth Bateman

A little bit about my role…

In the role of an Operational Trainer I work within a team of 10 Operational Trainers to facilitate and deliver the training to all operational personnel in the service. Training covers a variety of areas including firefighter modules, breathing apparatus (BA) initial courses, BA hot and cold assessments, water related courses, road traffic collision, medical, incident command, line safety and development to competent assessments of newly trained recruits.

The firefighter apprenticeship scheme is also coordinated  through the training department.

Courses are delivered at various locations throughout the service area.

What activities do you do on a typical day?

A typical day’s activities depend on the training course that is being delivered that day! Each course is different and therefore each day is different.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I enjoy everything about my job! I like meeting new people and engaging with a vast diversity of people from different backgrounds. I enjoy the operational side; working on a station and responding to incidents but I am particularly enjoying working in training and seeing the students finishing the courses having acquired new skills and knowledge.

Why did you choose this career?

I joined the fire and rescue service as I wanted a more challenging career that was different, rewarding, and physical and where I could contribute to the community. I wanted a job that I was proud of and I have definitely achieved that.

I enjoy working as part of a close team in pressured environments such as incidents where our actions make a difference and can save lives.

What qualifications or experience do you think are necessary to do this job?

You need to have a reasonable level of basic numeracy and literacy skills in order to complete the entry selection tests and also the physical capability to carry out the required tasks during the selection days. You also need to have the right personal qualities and attributes to join the fire service, including problem solving, being open to change, the ability to  work effectively with others, confidence and resilience, effective communication, respecting diversity and integrity, having commitment to excellence and good situational awareness. Life experience and experience of working with people is also an advantage but if you have the physical ability and the drive to do it then there is nothing stopping you.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

If you are passionate about wanting to make a difference and helping people in your community then go for it! Forget the preconceived ideas about the fire and rescue service being only for men and only putting out fires.

There is so much more that the modern fire and rescue service does and there are so many varied roles on offer.

Speak to someone in the fire and rescue service and find out what the job is about. It is hard work but very rewarding.


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