NHS Hero – Sarah Ludlow – Specialist Fire Training Officer

It’s a hot topic for trainer Sarah Ludlow – who delivers fire safety training to healthcare staff at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.

Sarah brings her enthusiasm into each session and with 23 years of experience, it’s no wonder she’s well known within the Trust for her innovative and engaging approach.

She explained: “I don’t like the idea of me talking all the way through the session.

“I always ask people questions that make them think about scenarios and how they would react if they were in those situations. I also take them around buildings across the Trust and encourage them to question the safety measures in those buildings.

“My top tips for everyone are to always look for emergency exit signs when you enter a new building, and always remember to use the right fire extinguishers. A lot of people have found these tips very useful,” said the 44-year-old.

Sarah absolutely enjoys her job as she feels that her training sessions help staff minimise fire risks and give staff the knowledge to protect themselves and their patients. She said: “Fire awareness is very important, especially in hospitals.

“Staff need to be aware of fire safety measures including  the location of fire extinguishers and emergency exits and how they would manage the safety of patients, visitors and other staff members should an incident occur.”

It’s only fitting that the mum-of-two works in a hospital – as she started out her career in nursing.

“I started in Sandwell Hospital in 1995 and soon went on to become a moving and handling training officer. Eventually I saw a vacancy for a specialist fire training officer in 2013, and I thought I would give it a try.”

Sarah is keen to progress in her career and has her sights set on becoming a Health and Safety Officer. She explained: “Learning and development is very important and it makes such a difference to an organisation. I have completed a few qualifications in Health and Safety and I am hoping to do more. Hopefully, I will achieve my dream one day.”

Daredevil Sarah enjoys a new challenge  – and has even skydived to raise funds for Lyndon 2 ward at Sandwell Hospital. She said: “It was a memorable experience. I didn’t have an instructor with me and I nearly landed on a highway. Fortunately, I was able to land safely in an empty area nearby.”

Sarah lives with her husband in Wednesbury. Outside work, she enjoys looking after her two-year-old granddaughter.

So who inspires her? “My daughter is now a maternity assistant practitioner,” beamed Sarah. “She amazes me with what she does and her determination to succeed.

“My husband is also my source of inspiration. He always believes in me and supports me to achieve my dreams.”