Our new ‘Must Read’ section is dedicated to sharing the words of some of the top bloggers from within the emergency services, NHS and armed forces – both past and present.
The blogs are hand-picked by our team but do not necessarily represent the views of Emergency Services News.
Instead, they reflect the experiences of individuals who have first-hand experience of what they are writing about.
Today’s blog is written by a serving armed response officer:
‘Being a cop means that you work in an environment where you rely on your colleagues. Rely on them to come to your assistance if you need help. Rely on them to help you to deal with incidents. Rely on them to pick you up when you’re down. Rely on them to give you advice.
I didn’t join this job until I was in my 30’s as I’ve stated before in an earlier blog. I have friends that I have known prior to becoming a cop. I still have these friends and I hope they will always be a friend. However, I have never known friendship and bonds like I get with my work friends.
Within a team, there will be people that you wouldn’t necessarily socialise with outside of work. People that wouldn’t normally be someone that you would become a friend with.
I currently am part of a team of 20 people and a department of around 100.
I know that I if I need some back-up at work, I can rely on everyone in my team to come to my aid. There are 3 or 4 on my team that are not people I would usually be friends with.
Not for any horrible reason, they just have different interests, different views, different ways. But….I know that if I need help, need advice, need a leg up they will be there for me. And I for them.
There are 4 lads on my team that I have only known for between 2 and 3.5 years that are my best mates.
I know that at any time, day or night, on or off duty they will drop whatever they are doing and be there for me. And I for them. I know that I can rely on these mates to have my back covered through thick or thin.
These mates I love like brothers.
They are lads that I love to socialise with outside of work and not just with them but their wife and kids too.
Within a team you always get a diverse group of people. You get the centre of attention types, the quiet ones, the studious ones, the fly by the seat of your pants ones, the funny, the boring etc etc.
Working on an ARV with these people for a long shift means that you get to know each other. You find out about them, their families. You tell them about you and your life.
I have been involved in very distressing incidents where we have dealt with very upsetting situations. It is at these times where you really find out just how good these friends are.
One incident in particular affected 6 of us directly.
The 6 of us spent time together outside work and were in contact all the time making sure we were all alright. The rest of the team, and others from the department, were in regular contact with me/us. I know without doubt that any of these friends would of been over to see me at 4am if I’d of asked.
I have only ever pressed my emergency button on my radio twice.
Once when I was single crewed, 2am, and saw a wanted male in a petrol station shop as I went in to buy a drink. Before I knew it, I had hands on him and as he struggled to get away we ended up outside on the forecourt.
It was then that his two mates decided to help him!
As I hit the emergency button, my radio became dislodged from my stab vest and my earpiece came out of my ear. As I struggled to keep hold of the male, and fight off his two mates I soon became aware of sirens and then the blue lights.
3 cars screeched onto the forecourt at the same time and the three males were very soon in cuffs. It still sends shivers down my spine when I remember the feeling as these colleagues of mine were there, with such speed and such determination to help me out.
Hearing the emergency tone on your radio makes you stop in your tracks and listen. Nothing else matters at that precise moment. A colleague has hit that button for a reason (sometimes in error and that means cakes for the team 😁) and that colleague needs help. It matters not who it is, it is another cop and that means family.
Working shifts means that we aren’t 9×5 Monday to Friday with weekends off. We get days off during the week, we get mornings and afternoons free.
We work weekends, bank holidays etc. If your wife/husband/partner works Monday to Friday then it’s your workmates that you spend time with on your midweek days off. Wether that’s socialising, training, dog walks etc.
I’ve also mentioned in previous blogs about the banter on a team. When I say banter, I often mean p*ss taking! This is usually relentless and ruthless. Everyone on my team has a nickname, mostly ones to ridicule them and this includes our sergeants! No one escapes!!
I am very fortunate to have such a brilliant set of friends.
Friends that are by my side or watching my back both at work and in my personal life. Friends like brothers and sisters. Family’.
Follow ‘AM’ on Twitter: @Amagistratus