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A native of the United Kingdom, Jason Halling is a firefighter from the Fire Brigade in Avon, as well as an avid gardener.
Jason Halling is a fire-fighter who has been working with the Avon Fire & Rescue Service in the United Kingdom since 2005. The fire brigade at Avon has been around since 1974 with the creation of Avon county, which was later abolished. Avon Fire & Rescue Surface has lasted, serving Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and Bristol.
A dedicated worker, Jason has sometimes had to travel 160 miles round trip for each two-day and two-night firefighting shift, which he is happy to do to not only help out at his own station, but also at neighboring stations. Firefighting, he says, is one profession that can’t be skipped. If there’s no one around that can show up to work, then it’s potentially a much bigger than mere inconvenience. It’s a matter of public safety.
He also volunteers his time regularly to help people learn more about fire safety—from fire prevention to what to do in a fire. Volunteering has helped him become a better person both on the job and off the job.
His biggest hobby is gardening, which he has since taken to the level of a part time business for landscaping, which he does on his days off from fire-fighting. Some of the services he offers as a landscape gardener include graveling, mowing, rowing, hedge cutting, fencing, decking, and even digging out backyard pools. He has built up a regular customer base by promoting both online and through local advertising.
Jason Halling loves what he does, whether it’s helping create the perfect backyard or saving a house from a fire.
Jason Halling wanted to be a firefighter from age 15, which he declared to his family and friends along with a resolution to make a difference in people’s lives. By protecting lives from fires, educating others in fire safety, and generally working hard at his job, he has achieved a lot in pursuit of this goal.
At the age of 22, Jason Halling was committed enough to his dream to apply to be a United Kingdom fire-fighter. After he entered training he achieved strong written and physical assessments for Reading/Oxford department and the Avon Fire & Rescue Services. Since there were no vacancies in the Reading area, he packed to work in Avon Fire & Rescue Services, where he worked hard in a 12-weeks course with to earn the right to learn all about the profession—what is involved in a rescue, what fire safety tips are most important—and ultimately he was able to graduate.
Training to be a firefighter requires very intense training for very long hours. Strong mental and physical fortitude are prerequisites. Aside from what one might think of as regular fire-fighting, the training program covered anti-terrorism, chemical incidents, and hazardous materials.
In addition to his training at Avon Fire & Rescue Service, Jason Halling also took field trips to Filton airfield to learn how to fight aircraft fires. He worked through numerous scenarios during all parts of his training, including severe tunnel rescue exercises and combined aerial rescue platform training.
In 2005, Jason Halling and his family and friends celebrated his graduation with a diploma in Health and Safety from the Fire Brigades union, and Halling was able to get a job at Avon Fire & Rescue Service in the United Kingdom.
Since he set out on his career, Halling has attended numerous incidents such as car fires, wheelie bin fires, road traffic collisions. His first major fire-fighting job was a huge fire at a storage facility used by Aardman Animations, the creators of Wallace and Gromit, and several other Bristol companies.
Each job comes with its own share of risks and rewards. For example, garage fires typically accompany a high risk of explosion. Jason Halling has been able to save a number of people from burning buildings, and he pays his respects to those who were unable to make it through the accident that caused the fire.
One of the most important aspects of fire-fighting is for the fire-fighters to work as a team. Halling is well-regarded by his coworkers, and has good reports from higher-raking officials. He is always willing to go the extra mile or two hundred to help out where he’s needed. Coworkers should build a rapport, he asserts, so that they are there for each other when it really matters most.
Also as part of his job, Halling has begun volunteering to visit schools in the community to raise awareness for fire safety, and also visits homes to help fit functional smoke alarms.
On the gardening side, Halling can trace his interest in gardening to a very young age, which was part of his greater love of the outdoors. As a child he helped his “Little Nan” weed her large vegetable garden and mow their lawns. While still in school he had a small, 14-customer business for which he mowed lawns and performed other lawn chores.
In both his business then and his landscaping business now he has given discounts to the elderly, earning very little in actual money. Rather, he does it for the reward of satisfaction at a job well done for a good cause. He would also mow his sister’s lawn occasionally from time to time so that she could come home to a clean lawn.
His own garden in his own yard has benefited from his skills and the time he’s willing to put into his favorite hobby: his creations include a circular patio and pond. Gardening has brought him peace after tough shifts at work.
Jason Halling has worked hard over the past few year, taking extra shifts when necessary, to prove he is dedicated and able to be promoted to Crew Manager at Reading/Oxford and Avon Fire & Rescue Service. He’s also been training to get licensed to drive the firetruck himself, a license which requires extensive extra training on top of the regular driver’s education classes.
He works daily to develop his skills through research and exercise: he maintains his body so that it is always in peak condition, and makes sure he stays up to date on safety recommendations. The recommended rules for CPR and other safety precautions update regular, so it pays to pay attention. When not working on his firefighting skills, he is often practicing and experimenting to improve his gardening skills.
He is optimistic about the future of fire-fighting and its positive impact on communities, and so hopes to visit more and more schools and community organizations to spread the word. Several new technologies may change the face of fire-fighting in the future. Sensor assisted fire-fighting will help fire-fighters predict how the fire will spread; electric wave blasters will suppress fires without the need for a water hose and large amounts of water; Metropolitan Fire Brigade’s Cyberquad fire-fighting helicopter will control an aerial camera that can move into fires.
Always looking ahead, Jason Halling is dedicated to learning as much as he can about the future of fire-fighting, and keeping himself in good shape to handle the challenges to come in Avon, United Kingdom.
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