Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking the people of Lichfield, have you got what it takes to be a firefighter?
"Retained firefighters are an integral part of the Fire Service and undertake the same training as full-time firefighters."
Assistant Area Commander for Lichfield, Paul Cullen
The Service is recruiting retained firefighters for its station in Lichfield. Retained firefighters provide emergency response cover from either their home or work base, which needs to be within five minutes of the Fire Station. Applicants must be over the age of 18 however there is no upper age limit.
Tony Heath, aged 46 has been a retained firefighter at Lichfield for 25 years and has fitted the role in around full-time employment and family life over the years: "I remember when I first applied to be a retained firefighter and assumed it was voluntary, so it was a nice surprise when I was told it was paid work!" said Tony.
"Retained firefighting means you can fit in the role around other employment, family life or even have retained firefighting as a primary income. I’ve spent 19 years in a full-time role at an engineering company and dedicated a set amount of my spare time outside of that job to provide retained cover at Lichfield Fire Station.
"Being a retained firefighter allows you to have flexible hours to suit you and your lifestyle and even if your circumstances change for example starting a family, you can amend the hours you give to the Fire Service to reflect that."
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.
Assistant Area Commander for Lichfield, Paul Cullen said: "Retained firefighters are an integral part of the Fire Service and undertake the same training as full-time firefighters. Successful applicants will be required to attend a weekly drill night at Lichfield Fire Station to maintain the high-level of fitness and skill we require our firefighters to have.
"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 wanting to find out more should call Lichfield Fire Station on 01785 898505 and ask to speak to someone about retained recruitment. Applications for retained firefighters in Lichfield must be received by October 23rd 2011 at the latest; the training course is due to start in February 2012.