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London Firefighter-bookcover

By: Stephen Dudeney

London Firefighter

Pages: 386 Ratings: 4.9
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Dave and I crept up the stairs, the floor had burned through in places as had the floor above, the roof was gone so there was a bit of dull light. The floor was covered in rubble; tiles from the roof, burnt timber, cork and all sorts. Dave took the nozzle and we pushed forward along the floor. The smoke was tolerable, the heat was a different matter. As I breathed in it was searing my lungs, a bit like trying to breathe in over a boiling kettle, I was lying on the floor in a puddle of steaming water trying to find some cooler air.

As Dave opened the nozzle we were engulfed in steam as the water cooled the superheated atmosphere above us. I buried my head a little lower and held on for dear life as Dave worked the jet around the large hallway, extinguishing the burning contents.

We pushed further and tried making our way into a room on the right. I was suffering a bit now, and as if reading my mind, Dave pulled back and I pushed up to the nozzle. I opened it and aimed in the direction of the fire. I got some relief by breathing in the cool clean air that was being forced out of the nozzle with the water. Soon we had pushed a good way forward but we were taking a real beating. I could feel my skin scalding as the wet fire tunic steamed in the heat…

Stephen Dudeney was brought up in London’s East end, and for as long as he can remember wanted to be a Fireman. In 1987, he joined the London Fire Brigade and began his career at Bethnal Green Fire Station. He was promoted through the ranks always remaining within East London. Finishing his career as Borough Commander, covering the area of the East end where he grew up and plied his trade, over the course of his career he attended some of the most significant incidents to befall London in recent decades, this is his story.

Customer Reviews
22 reviews
22 reviews
  • Kevin Wright

    A couple of weeks ago I managed to get a copy of London Firefighter, by Steve Dudeney. Well! I've just finished it and it's bloody brilliant. It starts literally at the beginning of his career, in fact in Steves's case earlier, his interest started as a lad, visiting his local fire station.
    Continues on the road to promotion to Senior Officer rank. Still, it's never boring, is informative and never leaves you in any doubt, that the man never forgot his roots, and was always a Fireman first, no matter the rank. I'm not an avid reader but I found this book one of those difficult to put down.
    So! If you want a good read I highly recommend it, and hope you find it as interesting and enjoyable as I did!

  • Jules Boyce

    A fantastic book from start to finish, documenting Steve’s career from the early days right up to his retirement in 2018. Having known Steve for many years it’s been great to read all about the trials and tribulations of being a London Fire Brigade officer.

  • David Corfield

    Added to my collection of firefighter books from over the years. A firefighter who rose through the ranks to the old Divisional Officer rank as it was years ago.Well worth the purchase I got it on Kindle as it's easier for me to read as I get older. On par with the older books about the London Fire Brigade if not better.
    Well done Steve.

  • Keith Shields

    I couldn't put this book down as soon as it arrived. A very honest and frank recollection of Steve's career from start to finish and also how his love of firefighting began. What is clearly evident is his love and passion for the job, for those he worked with and for the public he served. Personally, his story mirrors mine in ways so his book spoke to me more than others, only my career is still ongoing!
    I cannot recommend this book highly enough; if you have an interest in firefighting, in the London Fire Brigade or want to have a career in the job then read this book!

  • Abigail

    An interesting read and great insight into the career of the author.

  • MollieDolly

    This is a great book. It’s gripping, exciting, and honest and takes you on a true journey through the highs and lows of Steve’s successful career in the LFB. I can identify with many of the incidents and issues although my career timeline was parallel with Steve’s, which was spent in fire service in the South West of the UK. The tragic incident at Gillender St was one that resonated having both received and given input to support Breathing Apparatus training and like Steve, I was on duty when 9/11 in New York happened. The book takes me back to my time in the service which concluded last year and makes me miss it. I highly recommend this book if you can get ahold of it. A must-read for serving and former Firefighters or Emergency Service teams and for this who really want to know about life in the service. Very well done Steve and thank you.

  • David G Heal

    An excellent and fascinating book, but why did he not use a spell and grammar checker?
    I can forgive spelling BEEN as BENE once, but not every time the word is used. The odd full stop is likely to creep in, but continually in the middle of sentences, or even after the word I
    It makes him look illiterate which I'm sure he isn't.

  • Rich

    A superbly written chronicle of life in the fire service, you can almost smell the smoke and feel the heat!! You’ll share the laughter, the sorrow and adrenaline-filled highs from someone that’s been there, seen that and has the t-shirt!!! It’s one to read again and again.

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