#DYWKeyworker - Gavin Daschofsky - SFRS
Friday, 29th May 2020
Name: Gavin Daschofsky
Whole-time Firefighter (working on shift in Inverness fire station). Retained Firefighter (on call at Beauly fire station).
Scottish Fire & Rescue Service
What attracted you to the industry you are in?
I joined the retained service because I believed that I could help make a difference in my community. I love working for SFRS and wanted to make a career from something that I love doing.
How long have you been with the company?
I have been retained for 3 years and joined whole-time in January 2018.
Describe your day-to-day role;
No two days are ever the same. When I am on shift we have routine maintenance, testing and cleaning of equipment to do. At the moment we are just responding to emergency calls, but a big part of our normal routine would involve prevention work in the community. This could be fitting detection or simply educating people on how to make their homes safer.
What skills have you learned?
A firefighter needs to have many skills. There is so much more than just putting out fires. I have learned how to rescue people who have been in Road Traffic Collisions, basic trauma and life support skills, working at heights and many more.
Have you completed any professional qualifications?
No, but I am currently working towards a Firefighter Modern Apprenticeship through Skills Development Scotland.
Do you like living and working in the Inverness & Highlands?
I love working in Inverness. It has all the benefits of a big city, but you can be in the middle of nowhere in no time at all. I am lucky that I have seen some of the most beautiful places in the north of Scotland through attending many wild fires.
What skills are the most important for you to do your job well?
Communication is probably the most important part of being a Firefighter. Working as part of a team, people can have their own ideas and opinions on how things should be done. If we all understand what tasks need to be carried out and how we are going to do them, it makes the job run smoothly.
Was there anything about the job that surprised you?
Since joining SFRS I am amazed at how much I have grown as a person. I have pushed my body and mind further than I though was possible before.
Is there anything unusual about your role?
A fire station is not a normal workplace. When we are on shift, it just becomes like a second home. We get time to go to the gym every day and if it is a quiet night then we can sleep
Do you get a lot of support from your company?
SFRS is a very supportive employer. They invest a huge amount of money in training to ensure that we know how to do our job safely, and cutting edge protective equipment for when we do have to put ourselves in a risk area. We have a detailed training plan in place to make sure that we keep our skills up to date
What’s your favourite part of the job?
I love finishing a shift and knowing that I have made a difference. That could be saving life or property, stopping an incident from becoming worse, or even knowing that people have working smoke detection in their property after a home visit.
Did you always want to pursue a career in this industry?
No. I left school at the end of S5 and went straight into finance. When the markets crashed in 2008 I was made redundant. I have done many jobs since then but found SFRS after Beauly fire station ran a campaign looking for retained staff.
What is your advice for young school leavers looking to start an apprenticeship?
Volunteer doing something you love. I was a medic with the Red Cross for three years before I joined SFRS. I have made valuable connections, lifelong friends and skills that are valuable in all walks of life.
What is your career goal?
At the moment I am just happy working towards being a competent Firefighter. At some point I would like to progress to taking charge of incidents.
How does it feel to be a KeyWorker on the frontline, supporting the Country’s fight against Covid-19?
It has been strange coming to work during the fight against Covid-19. The roads are quieter and the majority of public buildings and retail outlets are closed. This has reduced some of our routine callouts. I have a wife and two young children so it has been a worry that I take the virus home to them. We have introduced many social distancing methods in the fire station, so it has been a very different place to work than it was before the virus outbreak.
Tell us what makes you proud to be a Keyworker?
It makes me proud to know that we always there for people in their time of need.