From soldier to fabric printer and on-call firefighter
A sense of belonging and purpose has been a key feature in Taylor Robinson relishing his role as an on-call firefighter with HWFRS.
Taylor, aged 24, from Evesham, works in a factory but has a military background.
"I spent four years in the army," he said.
"I enjoyed being in uniform and seeing the bigger picture and I missed that sense of belonging when I left the army.
"I saw the on-call firefighter role advertised and gave Nick Tuckwell, the Watch Commander from Evesham Fire Station, a call back in February 2017 for some information. It all developed from there."
Taylor says that he has had no problems combining his firefighting role with his day job.
"I work for a company called The Silk Bureau as a materials operator and it's different from anything that I have ever done before," he said.
"But my employers have been hugely supportive and, as a full-time employee, I do have some flexibility.
"They understand and admire what the Fire and Rescue Service does for the community.
"My family understand, too – when I was in the military, I was spending five days a week down in Warminster in Wiltshire so they are used to not having me around all the time, anyway."
Taylor's first major call-out gave him a taste of what to expect and the memory has stayed with him.
"It was a road-traffic collision on the A46 and we had to take the door off to get the casualty out," he recalled.
"Although I had trauma training in the army and attended training nights with the Service, being taught how to deal with a gunshot wound is rather different to dealing with a road traffic collision.
"I had to support the lady's head while we were getting her out of her car.
"It was a question of remembering that I was there to do a job and to be there to aid and assist."
The fitness demands of his firefighting role have not been a challenge for Taylor.
"I try to keep myself fit and I enjoy running," he said. "I do 5k and 10k runs regularly and I recently did a half-marathon."
He also enjoys the camaraderie of the service.
"The role takes me out of my comfort zone and I have made a lot of new friends," he said.
"There are all sorts of different people who are on-call firefighters, from an ex-jockey and a PT instructor to mechanics. We all have chosen different career paths, however we share interests in the community working for the fire station.
"Being an on-call firefighter is a great thing to do – you have a true sense of belonging and purpose and you are doing something to help others."
"We really are very happy to support both Taylor and the Fire and Rescue Service in general as unfortunately the services it provides are needed on a daily basis by the community in which we live," said Steve Curry, Operations Manager at The Silk Bureau.
"The impact on Taylor having to leave on call is really very minimal to our operation and we have tailored his duties here to suit his wish to play an important role which is a benefit to all."
To learn more about becoming an on-call firefighter:
- view the on-call FAQs
- read other on-call firefighter stories
- complete the on-call firefighter expression of interest form
- contact the HR department on 01905 368 343, or 01905 368 378 (24 hour answer phone) or via email