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On-call firefighters sought by Staffordshire

January 9 2019

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is supporting a national on-call firefighter recruitment drive.

The training I’ve had over the years has made me a more confident person. Twenty years ago I never thought I would reach the rank of Watch Manager. The skills I’ve learned as a manager have also assisted me in my full-time employment.

Watch Manager Rob Featherstone

The ‘Need More’ on-call firefighter awareness week, led by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), runs from Monday January 7 to Sunday January 13 2019 and aims to highlight opportunities available in the fire service, while busting myths about what it takes to be a firefighter.

The campaign, appeals to those who want more opportunity to connect with their community and is supported by a national website - www.oncallfire.uk - which encourages people to get in touch with their local fire service, in January or anytime throughout the year.

SFRS has 33 fire stations across the county, including 23 that are staffed by on-call firefighters who live or work within five minutes of their local fire station, responding to emergencies when needed. These dedicated individuals give several hours a week, and during these times stop whatever they are doing to go the aid of their community. 

Watch Manager Rob Featherstone joined Codsall’s on-call crew in 1999 and is still enjoying being part of the Service: “I am coming up to my 20th year and even now it gives me great pride. 

“The best thing about being an on-call firefighter is the sound of the pager; the adrenaline still flows now knowing that within a few minutes I’m going to be helping someone or dealing with an incident. It also gives me great pride to visit schools and have people visit the station to show them what we do and educate them about fire safety. 

“The training I’ve had over the years has made me a more confident person. Twenty years ago I never thought I would reach the rank of Watch Manager. The skills I’ve learned as a manager have also assisted me in my full-time employment. 

“One incident I attended really stands out for me; when we helped rescue a lady from a serious car crash. She was seriously injured and wasn’t expected to survive. She came down to the station a few months later to thank us for what we did. That was definitely a lump in the throat moment.” 

Group Manager Dermot Hogan said: “These people do exactly what our wholetime firefighters do but on an on-call basis. They devote their spare time, often alongside full-time jobs to serve their community.

“We are keen to hear from people who want to join our first class service and to play an integral role in keeping the communities where they live or work safe.

“Being an on-call firefighter is a great way to give something back to the community at the same time as supplementing your income. On-call firefighters receive the same high level of training as their full-time colleagues and attend incidents ranging from fires to floods and road traffic collisions. Enthusiasm and motivation are key qualities that we will be looking for as well as the ability to work as part of a team.”

Sue Arnold is Staffordshire’s Deputy Commissioner and is the lead for on-call firefighters for the Commissioner’s office.

She wants to give a big “shout” out to those already working as on-call firefighters, while urging new recruits to come on board to help the county.

‘I want to give a “shout” out to our existing on-call firefighters who do a tremendous job supporting our communities throughout Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

‘To paraphrase a 1980s pop hit, we need more of you to “Shout, Shout…help us all out”.

‘This is a wonderful opportunity to join Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and make a difference across the county.’

The Service is particularly keen to recruit for Rising Brook, Gnosall, Brewood, Codsall and Wombourne. Feel free to drop in on their drill nights.

 

Station

Day

Time

Brewood

Thursday

7pm-9pm

Rising Brook

Tuesday

7pm-9pm

Wombourne

Thursday

7pm-9pm (and 9am-11am)

Codsall

Thursday

7pm-9pm

Gnosall

Tuesday

7.30pm-9.30pm (and 1.30pm-3.30pm)

 

Fore more information visit https://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/careers/retained-on-call-firefighters/