Running into burning buildings and rescuing people trapped in cars might not be everyone’s idea of a desirable job, but for Southport-born Fire Fighter Charlotte, it’s the only thing she’s ever wanted to do. Now stationed at Aintree Fire Station, she is bringing the skills, knowledge and resilience she developed at Edge Hill to a career with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS).
“My uncles were both local Fire Officers in Southport so I’ve always been interested in being a Fire Fighter. I knew how difficult a career it is to get into so, after I left school, I did a two-year Public Services course to learn all about the fire and police services, as well as the Royal Navy and Army. After I graduated from Edge Hill, I volunteered for Fire Support Network, a charity that works alongside MFRS and other agencies, completing home fire safety checks, installing smoke alarms and giving fire safety advice to the local community. I ended up working there for six years until I finally applied to be a Fire Fighter.
“The recruitment process was very tough. There were seven stages that tested all of your abilities from how you coped working in dark and confined spaces to the strength of your grip. The knowledge I gained about sports science at Edge Hill, like the psychological, physical and biomechanical aspects of how athletes train, really helped me during the recruitment process. I passed out in 2016 and am very proud to be one of only 45 female Fire Fighters in Merseyside.
“There are a lot of things about the job which I love. Knowing you could potentially save someone’s life that day is a great feeling. I also like the community work we do in schools – it’s always fun to see the kid’s faces when they see a female Fire Fighter! On the down side, seeing the devastation that smoke and fire can do to people, homes and businesses, and dealing with families can be hard. Fortunately, the Fire Service has measures in place to increase our resilience and help us cope with difficult situations.
“I am now using the knowledge from my degree to work towards becoming a personal trainer within the Fire Service, helping Fire Fighters maintain their fitness levels and instructing new recruits who pass into the service.
“My advice for anyone thinking of a career as a Fire Fighter is to maintain your fitness and strength – both mental and physical – and do your homework. Find out all you can about what the Fire Service does and try and get some work experience if you can. Showing that you can handle responsibility and constructively challenge people will give you the best chance of success.
“Don’t forget to keep an eye on the MFRS website, Twitter and Facebook for our recruitment adverts.”
To find out more about studying this programme, please view full course information for BA (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science.