Lifting the Fire Hydrant
Jacaranda Books Art Music
‘Lifting the Hydrant Lid’ follows a young, idealistic raw recruit as they negotiate training school and settle into life on a watch. With incidents and routine tasks woven into the fabric of the story, it charts a journey into the male dominated heart of the British Fire and Rescue Service and describes the pressure of life and death scenarios, the emotional turmoil, the variety of incidents attended and the unpredictable nature of the job.
The book utilises the rare perspective of a female firefighter and examines the more intricate difficulties experienced by minority groups. It challenges preconceptions and gives a voice to a profession that is seldom heard, rarely seen and never wanted. Firefighters are indispensable in times of need, but as long as tragedies and disasters remain unforeseen, firefighters will never be at the vanguard of anyone’s thoughts.
Lifting the Hydrant Lid highlights the reality of life as a firefighter and will appeal to anyone interested in the fire service or the actuality of life in a male dominated environment. It is uniquely positioned to provide a truthful first-hand account and it provides a platform for discussion as to the true extent of equal opportunity.
Kate lives in the North East of England and has been a firefighter for over 16 years. ‘Lifting the Hydrant Lid’ is her first book, written to reveal the difficulties faced by all firefighters, the additional tribulations of the female contingent and the true nature of their vocation.
Born in County Durham, the second of four children and sandwiched between two brothers, Kate soon became accustomed to holding her own amongst male counterparts. This competitive drive saw her reach a high level in numerous sports and win 3 consecutive national chess championships.
After graduating from the University of Sunderland with a Sports Science degree, Kate was undecided as to her future career, but a chance visit to an open day at the Fire Service Training Centre changed her life forever. Following success at each stage of recruitment, Kate turned down employment as a white water rafting instructor on Pigeon River and accepted the position of firefighter.
No stranger to challenging situations, Kate has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro; coached soccer in USA; managed a successful women’s football team; completed the first ‘Tough Mudder’ event in Scotland; and more recently adopted 2 boys as a single parent. Following the arrival of her second son, Kate changed direction, she now works as a personal trainer and life coach, encouraging others to follow their dreams.