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A day in the life of Serco Middle East employee Alex Mattock, Firefighter

What’s the focus of your current role? What is your purpose?

In my current position as a firefighter, I am part of a 9-man crew that operates on a busy aviation and domestic site. I enjoy my role of providing a safe environment and having the chance to help people in need.

Working for Serco has given me the opportunity to travel and work in a unique environment that would have been impossible for me otherwise! 

What do you typically do in a full day’s work?

7am - 9am

I arrive at my shift prior to it commencing so that I can get the details of my role for the day and allow the off-going crew to be relieved of their duties. The busy day always starts with a coffee! Depending on the day, my role will either be as a breathing apparatus wearer, driver/pump operator or control room operator. Once I know what my role is for the day, I carry out relevant checks. It is extremely important to ensure that all of our equipment is fully operational so that it is ready to use at all times. In addition, by doing these checks, we are able to understand what equipment needs maintenance or replacements.

9am - 12pm

Due to the rising temperatures here in the Middle East, we mostly do our trainings in the morning when the weather is a bit cooler. It is vital for firefighters to complete training to ensure our skills are up to date. Our training includes all aspects of firefighting, including: breathing apparatus training, pump operation, driver training and equipment operation.

12pm - 1pm

Time for food! After a busy morning of work, it is vital for us to stay energised. We are fortunate enough to have food provided for us to keep us going throughout the day. 

1pm - 3:30pm

I use the afternoon to do some admin work and equipment servicing. Keeping all of the equipment we have fully serviceable is essential for firefighting operations. 

3:30pm - 5pm

One of the best things about this job is being able to use work time to maintain personal fitness. In the late afternoon, I like to work out and train. It is important for all crew members to stay fit and ready for the job. Even though we are still on-call, we have the opportunity to exercise while at the station. On a side note, I am studying to become a personal trainer in my spare time so that I can lead classes for other crew members and help the crew stay fit and healthy!

5pm - 6pm

After a workout, I’ve definitely worked up another appetite! We do a 24-hour shift so I am not going home just yet.

6pm onwards

Because we do 24-hour shifts, we are always ready to be dispatched. However, we can carry on with our day-to-day tasks. Evenings give us a chance to catch up on personal tasks, as well as unwind and bond with other crew members. Sometimes we might all watch a movie. We normally get to bed around 10pm. We have our own rooms in the fire station. Although we sleep at work, we have to be ready to respond at any time. I’ve gotten used to sleeping with ‘one eye open’.