We are always here ready to help

The Norfolk fire service control room team who will be working on Christmas day. From left to right

The Norfolk fire service control room team who will be working on Christmas day. From left to right – Robert, Katrina, Jo and Lewis. Picture Norfolk Fire Service - Credit: Archant

While we're enjoying our Christmas, there's an army of people making sure Norfolk still runs smoothly.

Christmas Day is the same as any other day when you work for any of the emergency services.

The words of Lewis Gotts, retained fire-fighter and team member of Green Watch Control in the Norfolk Fire Service control room.

He is one of the team who will be in the control room on Christmas Day, meaning festive fun with his family and two children will be fitted around the schedule.

'People still need us so we are always here ready to help,' said Lewis, pointing out that accidents and fires do still happen despite it being Christmas.

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He said there tend to be slightly less calls about traffic accidents on Christmas Day because there are fewer cars on the road, although there were typically emergency calls about building fires, sometimes due to people being distracted while cooking.

'Christmas day can get ruined for some people,' he said.

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He said, Christmas Day or not, the control room team worked very professionally – although they might be wearing Santa hats.

'We try to be calm, take control and calm the person down,' said Lewis, adding that some callers forget everything in their panic, even their postcode or road they are in.

'People often forget their address when phoning us but we try to take control of the phone call to get the information that we and our fire crews need. Once we have what we need, we mobilise the fire appliances and officers and then support them throughout the incident with anything further they need,' he added.

'I have a family, including two children, which unfortunately I won't be with on Christmas Day but will have the evening and Boxing Day so we will have our own little Christmas celebration then. Sometimes the shifts we have to work fall on days that aren't ideal but it is just the nature of the job and it is something that you get used to,' he added.

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