‘Retrieving a bodies of people who have died tears firefighters apart’



Roll call. We are given a jobs for a shift. Each day is designed though all can change when we accept an puncture call.

We do drills practising opposite real-life scenarios. We use blindfolds, since it can be formidable to see if you’re in a fire. Sometimes a fume is so thick we can’t check a sign on a respirating apparatus to see how most atmosphere we’ve got left. If you’re going into a large fire, there is an adrenaline rush since it is unpredictable. It can be frightful – we consider anyone who says it’s not is putting on a dauntless front.

In a dusk we eat a dish together. Often we get a call median by and have to desert a food. I’ve schooled that poached eggs are terrible cold. Eating dishes together is essential for a good watch. Firefighters face some-more mental health issues than a ubiquitous race though are reduction approaching to find support. I’ve been in a glow use for 7 years and mental health problems are on a rise. It doesn’t have to be one thespian occurrence that causes them. The consistent exercise of saying things like residence fires where people die, automobile accidents or retrieving a bodies of people who have killed themselves can rip we detached as well.


We lift out giveaway home glow reserve visits in a community. The aim is to get operative fume alarms in each home. It still surprises and frustrates me that many people take them down since they go off too much. It’s such a tiny thing that saves lives – a lot of casualties we see are since there wasn’t a glow alarm.

We are called to fume entrance from a beauty salon. The glow is extinguished fast and no one is hurt. We brand that it was caused by a inadequate decrease dryer.

Leoni Munslow

Leoni Munslow: ‘The aim is to get operative fume alarms in each home.’ Photograph: Leoni Munslow

I finally leave a station, some-more than an hour after my change ended. Living some-more than an hour divided is frustrating on these nights. I’d adore to live nearer to my hire though can’t means to pierce there.


I’m operative from Chelsea glow hire tonight. Last time we was here, we had a large glow on a hottest day of a year. Walking adult 5 flights of stairs in a rigging was roughly unbearable.

We are behind over a stream to a call in Battersea. Someone mistook a glow alarm for a doorway exit button.

We haven’t even returned to a hire when we are sent to alarms sounding in a booze bar. It’s a imagination dress party, so we are really acquire in a uniforms. Everyone’s dipsomaniac and wants selfies. This time a alarm was caused by sparklers.

We are sent to a retard of flats where someone has returned home dipsomaniac and started cooking. Luckily their fume alarm woke them adult and we are means to stop things escalating.

I’m enjoying my second swig of breakfast when a subsequent call comes in. We are approaching to be out of a hire within 90 seconds of a bells sounding.


Twenty-eight seconds into a shift, a walking is left with conduct injuries after a automobile collides with a emporium front.

Later, a glow in a lift missile fills corridors in a building retard with thick smoke. People have come outward and are trapped on a outside corridor that links a flats. We rescue 6 really frightened adults and move them down a ladder to safety. They’re happy to have their feet on a ground.

Tonight we have a harangue though it’s interrupted when we take a call for a chip vessel fire. They aren’t as common as they used to be though can be lethal, generally when people use H2O to try to extinguish them.

At 1am we are sent to soothe crews who have been fighting a glow during an industrial estate in west London for 5 hours.

My change ends during 9.30am. Four days off commences.

Leoni Munslow is a firefighter during Tooting glow hire in London and a repute for a Fire Brigades Union

If we would like to minister to a My operative week array about your pursuit in open services, get in hold by emailing sarah.johnson@theguardian.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here