Resilient roofer inspired by Ambulance service wife to save lives

A resilient roofer has said his Ambulance worker wife inspired him to save lives – and become and on call firefighter.

Kevin Morland has recently started as an on-call firefighter at Chopwell Community Fire Station with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS).

The 33-years-old spends his days helping create and renovate the roofs of houses in is local area, but always knew he wanted more from his career.

Kevin had previously twice applied to become a firefighter but, despite being placed on a waiting list, the call up never came.

The father-of-two decided to give up on that dream and pursue his career as a roofer, but it was his wife who inspired him to reignite his passion.

Lydia Morland works as a Clinician for the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and the conversations they shared about their day at work left Kevin wanting more.

So when he saw TWFRS were recruiting for on-call stations at his neighbourhood station earlier last year, he jumped at the chance to apply.

Kevin took the plunge and applied, and now he is living his dream working hard to make his children proud of his work.

Kevin said “I’ve always wanted a physical job, being outside and working with my hands has been my career for the last eight or nine years, so I thought I’d be great at this role.

“The last two times I’ve managed to get so far in the process but it’s not been right, and then we moved when we welcomed my son and I was out of the catchment area.

“So when I saw that the parameters for the on-call firefighters I jumped at the chance to apply for a third time.

“My wife works in the emergency services but for NEAS and when I speak to her about how she helps people every day really inspired me to keep going with my own dreams.”

Now Kevin is out at Chopwell Community Fire Station, working alongside four other new recruits and is loving life.

He continued, “Being on station is great, it’s a relaxed learning environment and everyone is always willing to help.

“We are working hard to learn as much as quickly as possible so we can get on the run and help out in the community.

“It’s been good starting as a group of five, we’ve become close friends outside of work already.”

Today (Tuesday) Station Manager for TWFRS’s Chopwell Community Fire Station, Andy Nelson, is commending Kevin for his persistence to achieve his dreams.

Station Manager Nelson said “Working for the fire service you need to be persistent, you need to keep going in the face of adversity because you never know what you are going to face.

“Its been great to see how all of our new recruits have bonded so quickly, you make friends for life in this role.

“I’m glad to finally welcome Kevin as part of the watch at Chopwell, I can’t wait to see how far each of our new recruits go with the service.”

On-call firefighters are attached to one station in the immediate vicinity of their home and work address, often fulfilling the role alongside other full-time employment.

On-call and wholetime recruitment are now closed for 2023, but wholetime recruitment will be reopening later in 2024.

Find out more about the work TWFRS does on their website.