top of page

Watch manager 

london fire brigade


james davie

Firehouse Gear

Where do you work?

London Fire Brigade at Elham Fire Station. I am in charge of White Watch


How long have you been a firefighter?

I have been a firefighter for 18 years

Why did you want to work in the fire service?

It was not a job I thought about when I was at school. I come from a police force family. Whilst at school I did not know what I wanted to do. I worked in London in the banking world, but it was not me. I had a friend who had trained as a firefighter and invited me to his pass out parade. As soon as I went to Southwark training centre and saw everything, this is what inspired me to join the job.

What educational qualifications do people need to perform your role?

I needed English and Maths GCSE A-C grades and I had to pass a written exam, a practical test, a bleep test, an interview and a medical.

What practical experience do people need to help them to obtain your role?

No practical experience is required, but you should be physically fit.

What do you enjoy about being a firefighter?

I love my job. There is no better feeling than serving the community I live in. I have helped rescue many people in my time, and there is no better feeling in the world than saving someone's life. I have been to many fires, many car crashes, people trapped, floods and many more incidents. 


The brigade has given me confidence, respect and I am very proud of what I do. Training was brilliant, fighting fires gives you a great feeling. I work with brilliant people who all work together and a tight bond is made between us all. I meet people from every walk of life and treat people the same way I wish to be treated. Meeting people from different cultures has educated me as well.


What can be challenging about your work?

Sometimes the job can get you down, unfortunately we cannot save everybody, but being part of a team/ a family helps you through the bad times.

What is your fondest memory?

When I saved a 5-year-old boy in a fire. He was taken to hospital to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation. I visited him in hospital and the reaction I got from him and his family was a feeling no one could take away from me.

Do you have any personal advice?

You won't ever be rich working for the brigade, but I lead a nice life. I did not join the job for the salary and no amount of money in the world will give you the feeling of saving someone's life. 

The shift work also helps me spend time with my 2 daughters. Seeing them grow up and look after them is so important to me


In summary, I love being a firefighter, it is an amazing and rewarding career 

bottom of page