Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is looking to recruit retained firefighters for its stations in Stone, Eccleshall and Gnosall.
"I thought my age may go against me but Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service do not discriminate against age or anything else."
Ian Postlethwaite, Stone Firefighter
Retained firefighters provide emergency response cover from either their home or work base, which needs to be within five minutes of the fire station.
Ian Postlethwaite, 47, is a new retained firefighter at Stone, he’s been with the Service for 10 months and as well as being a retained firefighter he is also a Learning Support Practitioner at H.M Prison Stafford:
"Ever since I was in my twenties, I always wanted to be a firefighter but didn’t think I’d be able to do it. I’ve lived in Stone for twenty years now and thought it’d be nice to give something back to my local community, so I sent in my application,” said Ian.
"I thought my age may go against me but Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service do not discriminate against age or anything else. I suddenly found myself passing all of the tests and then before I knew it I was in training to become a firefighter.
"I was ecstatic and have loved every minute of my role since I started, my colleagues and the rest of the Fire Service have been very welcoming and the role is flexible enough to fit around my other job."
Rob Pickstock, 29, is also a retained firefighter based at Stone and has been with the Service for 12 months and is a driving instructor.
He said: "I work on my own as a driving instructor and craved a team environment. I was also looking for something challenging and liked the idea of serving my local community.
"When I saw that Stone Fire Station needed retained firefighters, I applied immediately and I can honestly say it is one of the best things I’ve ever done."
After their initial training course, retained firefighters attend weekly drill nights to ensure they maintain their skills, in addition to which there are many more opportunities for training throughout the year.
Steve Pope, Area Commander for Stafford said: "Retained firefighters are vital to the community and we urge people to come forward. We require people who live or work within a five minute radius of the stations and applications are open to all males and females over the age of 18.
"Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is representative of the communities we serve so we do not discourage any applications and retained firefighting is a great option for those wishing to supplement their current income and put something back into the community.
"It may be that you are unemployed or you may be willing to provide cover outside of your normal day job. Alternatively more and more local employers are now willing to release employees from their duties to attend emergency incidents."
People interested in becoming a retained firefighter at Stone, Eccleshall or Gnosall should contact Steve Pope for an informal chat on 01785 898893. More information is also available at www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk .
The deadline for applications is 20th August and all applications should be returned direct to Stafford Fire Station.