☎ Meet Rob: the public’s first port of call ☎

“People ask me ‘how do you do it’,” he says. “It can be really intense and very daunting when you first start. But you have to have a certain persona in dealing with things. You’re never on your own, that’s the good thing – there’s always someone to ask.”

While for lots of people work can feel repetitive, Rob finds that policing always throws up new challenges. “I don’t think you can get what the job is like until you do it – how many things happen in the county every day, and you don’t appreciate how big Derbyshire is! Anything can happen anywhere,” he says.

It’s a skilled role where staff are constantly assessing the risk to people who are asking for our help. “When you’re on a 999 call, your brain is listening for information, key words, and what’s going on in the background,” Rob says. “It’s all about picking up the key signs – noises, sounds – and using your knowledge to get the address and get those officers out. Those are the jobs which get your adrenaline going.”

Although the team deals with difficult things every day, Rob thrives under pressure. “Sometimes there’s a buzz in the room when we’re supporting a major incident, and we’re able to help the people calling in,” he says. “It’s the unknown, varied nature of what might happen.”

The hours are long, but Rob enjoys working four days then having four days off. “You might think 12 hours is a long time, and it is, but it goes that quick,” he says. “Once you’re done you walk out the door, you don’t talk anything home with you. I find the weeks go so quick - I like the shift pattern and the time off afterwards, although it takes some getting used to.”

Policing has shown Rob a side of life you don’t normally see, but he’s clear about the part he has to play. “I just go to work and do what I can to help,” he says. “That’s what we do.”