Walk the floor with... Leanne Watters

Walk the floor with... Leanne Watters

Are you interested to know what happens behind the scenes of your favourite airport? We asked our newest recruit in the fire department, Leanne Watters.

What does your day-to-day job involve?

Every shift starts with an inspection of the vehicles, breathing apparatus and a trip to the fire ground to ensure everything is in working order. Daily duties include testing all equipment, cleaning of the vehicles, testing of fire alarms and wildlife hazard management. A huge part of the job is training to keep our skills current and to the highest standard. We train both practically and theoretically in a huge variety of areas including; external fires, internal fires, casualty search and rescue, tactics and techniques, first aid, dressing drills, knots and lines, aircraft familiarisation, map reading and so much more. Every shift is different but we are prepared and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

What is your favourite part of being a fire fighter?

It has to be the practical training sessions, you never know what is going to be thrown at you and the adrenaline rush you get when the training rig is set alight is unbelievable. No situation is ever the same and I learn something new every time we train.

What training did you have to go through to become a fire fighter?

My initial training consisted of a 5-week residential course where alongside nine other recruits we learnt everything from ladder drills to aircraft design. I really enjoyed learning about the breathing apparatus, this is one of the most important pieces of kit we use as it keeps us alive and allows us to enter otherwise un-survivable areas. The final week was by far the best week, a week on the fire ground attending a variety of different incidents tackling fire after fire.

What made you decide to become a fire fighter?

It’s always been the childhood dream to become a fire fighter, and even now when we drive up the runway in convoy in the big red trucks I still can’t quite believe it’s me sat in there! I have always liked the idea of working closely as part of a team and being there for people when they need you the most.

What is your favourite aircraft?

I was on shift when the Lancaster Bomber landed at Southampton Airport; while it was on the ground I was fortunate enough to have a look around and was completely amazed with everything!! Though Southampton Airport would not be the same without the Dash 8!

What is your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Outside of work I am a keen triathlete, so when not at work I will often be swimming, cycling, running or all 3!