Kristi: “Your rehabilitation team is helping me get back on the run as an on-call firefighter”

Kristi Burling visited Marine Court on our rehab programme after an injury meant she had to come off the run from her on-call role. Here, she shares how we helped her build her confidence again.

Working as an on-call firefighter is a demanding role at the best of times, but Kristi Burling combines hers with a full-time job as an ambulance emergency medical technician.

Having worked as an emergency responder for four years, and in the fire service for over eight years, Kristi has come to love her job – so when she suffered a leg injury and was taken off the run from her role with Hertfordshire FRS, she immediately looked at ways of building her strength back up and recovering as quickly as possible.

Having heard about the support we offer, she got in touch and was offered a place on our rehabilitation programme at Marine Court. We caught up with her while she was there to hear about her experience…

“I’ve been part of Hertfordshire FRS for the past seven years as an on-call firefighter” she says. “That’s my part-time job, as I work full-time for East of England Ambulance Service, which I’ve been doing for the last three years.

“The injury I sustained was a right meniscus tear, roughly three years ago. I had two operations on it, both unsuccessful, found out I’d re-torn it and I was offered the Fire Fighters Charity’s rehab programme to help me get back into good fitness, to get back to my on-call role.

“I want to be more educated with exercises and not be so worried about pushing myself at home in the gym, not knowing if I’m going to overdo it and then injure myself further.

“At some point I’ve got to do a fitness test so when I go back, they were going to see how my rehab went here and I will have to complete that… if I don’t then I will be coming off the run until I’m able to pass it.

“It’s really nice to see that you’re not the only person that’s going through struggles with an injury. We were all different ages, and came from different areas, so it was nice to see their backgrounds and how they’re coping, and what support they have.”

If you feel you’d benefit from our health and wellbeing support, you can call our Support Line on 0800 389 8820, make an enquiry online or visit the ‘Access Support’ tab in My Fire Fighters Charity.

And remember – if you’re feeling suicidal, you can call our Crisis Line 24 hours a day on 0300 373 0896.