Firefighters’ film recalls their challenges during the pandemic


“For me, the job is all about going out and helping my community. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

We can now rely on a more experienced and well-prepared fire service, thanks to the knowledge crews have gained while adapting to the challenges of the recent pandemic.

That’s the message from Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service, described in a new short film, designed to highlight recent collaborations with other emergency services and showcase new ways of working over the last year.

The film is being used as part of the service’s induction and training resources. It will also be shared on social media to thank local people and show the broad range of community safety initiatives offered by Oxfordshire’s firefighters.

Gabby Heycock, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Area Manager, explains in the video that: “COVID-19 has been really challenging. Not only in the way we’ve had to respond to those emergencies we’ll always have to go to – using personal protection equipment and adapting our approach – but also, we’ve helped support our partners and organisations across the county cope with the challenges of the pandemic.

“We’ve done things like deliver laptops to schools and driven ambulances for South Central Ambulance Services. We have also used our managerial skills to set up testing centres. And we’ve done all that while maintaining an emergency service for the public of Oxfordshire.”

Various strands of the fire service are represented in the film.   Peter Savage, from the home and community safety team, explained how during the last year his team have visited homes of vulnerable, high-risk residents, giving them safety advice and support on how to reduce fire risks in their properties. Facemasks, hand sanitisers and safe distancing have been essentials when entering each home.

Becky Rimmer, Operational Watch Manager at Faringdon Fire Station, sums up the passion and determination of every firefighter: “I’m not a hero. It’s my job. I love it. For me, the job is all about going out and helping my community. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

The appreciation of the local community is evident as Becky describes receiving cakes and fish ‘n’ chips from grateful local people.   She describes the generously as “amazing” and her close-knit team as a “second family”.

You can watch the video here:

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