Location: Montrose, UK
Year joined in: 2014
A day in the life of…
Andy is a Fire Instructor at our training facility in Montrose. A former fire fighter, Andy shares his experience of working at one of the largest fire training centres in the world; a site that’s equipped with training modules simulating real life working environments on and offshore - preparing delegates for any eventuality.
My busy work day begins at 8.30am and one of the first things I do when I arrive is go through the course schedule with the other instructors. We have nine training modules at the Montrose site and can have up to six courses running in a one day – so there can be a high volume of people using the facilities at any one time. There’s a real buzz about the place when we’re all working together to provide the best possible training for our delegates.
My mornings vary depending on which courses are running but generally tend to begin with the theory element of training. Our delegates then practise what they’ve learned later in the day - that’s when we really step up the pace.
After a jam-packed morning, I have lunch in the canteen with our delegates and my colleagues. It’s good to be able to reflect how the day is going with the other instructors before we begin hands-on training in the afternoon.
For me, it’s so important that delegates get real experience extinguishing fires, as they could be the person responding to an emergency situation in their own working environment. We have some of the best training facilities in the country with replicas of helidecks, process areas and accommodation blocks. I love taking delegates through the modules step-by-step and we’re always on hand to make sure everyone feels comfortable during the exercises. I think delegates get the most out of our training by learning in this way.
Our company-specific, integrated fire training courses are great to work on and involve an entire team. Everyone really pulls together during these exercises, with the Offshore Installation Manager leading the response from our Major Emergency Management simulators suites, while others respond to the incident on the fire ground. Personally, I get a lot from these courses as they’re exciting, challenging and get everyone involved.
Being an instructor is a physically demanding job with all the practical elements of training that we do. My down time is important to me and I enjoy socialising with friends and family. We’re a close group here at Montrose and so socialising and getting to know each other out of work definitely helps to provide an excellent service for our customers.
What are the top three things about your job?
1) I enjoy seeing delegates progress from day one of a course right through to the end. Whether they are responding to an incident, setting up equipment or using breathing apparatus for the first time, it’s great seeing people’s confidence grow in these types of scenarios
2) We have a wide range of knowledge and experience within the team of instructors. Our team is made up of former members of the Fire Service, Airport Fire Service, the RAF and the Navy. We share our knowledge with one another and it’s brilliant to put our expertise into practice
3) I come from a Fire Service background and I get huge job satisfaction every day, seeing delegates safely extinguish the fires with the new skills they’ve learned