HWFRS firefighters hit the headlines in ‘We are Firefighters’ on BBC 1

Simon Leanne Samantha action pic

HWFRS firefighters hit the headlines recently when they took part in the high profile TV documentary ‘We are Firefighters’ on BBC 1 in the Midlands.

‘We Are Firefighters’ is part of BBC England series We Are England and featured Station Commanders Simon Hawkins and Debs Davies, and Firefighter Leanne Player carrying out their roles.

Simon is Station Commander for Bromsgrove and Tenbury Stations, Leanne serves at Bromsgrove and Eardisley, and Debs is Station Commander for the North Herefordshire cluster.

They were joined on the programme by Group Commander Samantha Samuels of West Midlands Fire Service.

In an ‘action packed’ half hour, Simon, Leanne, Debs and Samantha threw a sharply focused spotlight on both their professional and family lives, providing a powerful and sometimes hard-hitting insight into life as a UK firefighter in the 21st

In true ‘fly on the wall style’, the cameras followed them around a wide range of activities and challenges, portraying their lives both on station and at home, and meeting their families and colleagues.

Viewers had the chance to follow a range of incidents from start to finish featuring all four, as the callouts came in, crews rapidly donned kit, deployed to the incidents both day and night and dealt professionally with whatever awaited them.

Simon was shown briefing and debriefing his team on station in his leadership role, Leanne was featured driving an appliance to a night-time callout, Debs commented on the breadth of roles in modern firefighting, and Samantha was depicted coordinating an incident on-site.

The human face of modern firefighting also came across loud and clear, as well the fact that the fire service offers a really exciting career for both men and women, with every role available to both, and everyone being given the opportunity to advance to the best of their ability.

Viewers also joined Simon, Leanne and Samantha in their homes to gain a true insight into family life for firefighters and the challenges and rewards along the way.

Simon and his wife, accompanied by their children, described the huge support he received from the service after losing a leg in a motorcycle accident, while Leanne was shown preparing a midnight meal for her crewmates as well as spending quality-time with her partner.

Samantha, over in the West Midlands, referred to challenges she’d faced on her journey to becoming the first black female in the West Midlands service.

Area Commander Jon Butlin, Assistant Director for Response, said:

“’We are Firefighters’ was a fascinating and inspiring programme which really shed light on life as a modern firefighter.

“Whilst for us in the Service this may all seem fairly routine, many viewers won’t understand the sheer scale of training and the numerous challenges that we face, and the potential impacts on our home lives.

“Simon, Leanne and Debs have been excellent ambassadors for HWFRS and have done the Service proud, as has Samantha for her service.

“Making the programme has taken a lot of effort for all of them, which included several advance media interviews to bring in the viewers. I’d like to thank them and their families for the support they have given, as well as their colleagues who also featured.

I should also acknowledge the support of the numerous colleagues who contributed to the programme, both those who had ‘walk on’ parts and the many others who helped with the logistics to achieve such a polished programme ‘on the night’ ”.

You can find out more about the programme at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-63419919 and https://twitter.com/hwfire , and watch all of it on the iPlayer.

Images shown are courtesy of the BBC.