Our People - Meet On-Call Firefighter George Kourtesiotis

On-Call Firefighter George Kourtesiotis

On-Call Firefighter George Kourtesiotis.

From trailing the Canadian Rockies to protecting the communities of Consett, On-Call Firefighter George Kourtesiotis has been on quite the journey.

The 35-year-old, who is Greek-Canadian, grew up in Toronto and had a sense of adventure from a young age along with a passion for trying new things.

“I had a very short career as a professional American football player in Canada," he said.

"After that I worked as a rolling stock mechanic with the railway.

“Chasing a sense of adventure, I changed course, which led me down several paths.

“Along the way, I worked as a fitness consultant, a shuttle bus driver and lift operator at a ski resort.

"I also worked as a tour guide leading small groups along hiking and camping trips across the Canadian Rockies!”

George told us about how he's not afraid of a challenge and walked the Camino Trail in Spain two years in a row. 

In 2018, he walked a total of 560 miles over 35 days and in 2019 he walked 630 miles over 24 days!

In 2020, George relocated to the UK with his partner, who is from the North East.

In his current full-time role, he works as a maintenance technician for a special needs school, in addition to being an On-Call Firefighter at CDDFRS. 

George, who lives in Consett, joined the Service in February 2023, and his main responsibility is to provide on-call emergency cover within five minutes of Consett fire station.

Each week, he attends a drill night with the rest of the On-Call crew at Consett to train and conduct standard testing of the equipment.

The role also involves some community engagement such as delivering fire prevention advice and carrying out home fire safety checks. 

The best part of the job?

"I love how this job helps me to fulfil that sense of adventure, while serving towards a greater communal cause," he said.

"Being able to train with a team of like-minded and supportive people is both comforting and encouraging.

“Likewise, the training is challenging and rewarding and has improved my life skills outside of the role which is a welcome bonus."

Outside of work, George can be found spending time with his partner, Jessica , and their children, 17-month-old, Arlia-Grace, and one-month-old, Ares.

George said: “My young family keeps me very busy, but I am very active in my spare time.

"I enjoy fitness training, running, and bouldering and I still have ambitions for adventure!”