The fire and rescue services for Staffordshire and Cheshire have launched a new campaign looking to recruit more "on-call" firefighters.
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 which encourages people to get in touch with their local fire service, in January or anytime throughout the year.
An on-call firefighter is someone who responds to a range of fire and rescue service jobs; these range from emergency calls, working at open days, carrying out work with their local communities and acting as an ambassador for the fire service.
On-call firefighters come from every walk of life, including homemakers, shopkeepers, builders, farmers, office workers and directors of companies, together with people who are not currently employed. Full training is provided on an ongoing basis, therefore previous experience is not needed.
An on-call firefighter could be called out two or three times a week, for a few hours at a time. The on-call hours are based around people’s availability and other commitments. To be an on-call firefighter, you must
Have a strong desire to support the local community.
Be enthusiastic about working as part of a team.
Have a reasonable level of personal fitness.
Live or/and work within 5 minutes of your local fire station.
Cheshire’s Chief Fire Officer, Mark Cashin, said: "On-call firefighters are an integral part of our service and community. We are keen to encourage anyone with the right skills to find out about what they can offer us - and in return, what we can offer you."
Kevin McLintock runs recruitment of on-call firefighters in North Staffordshire, he 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 us in a job like no other where they can play an integral role in keeping the communities where they live or work safe.
“Being a retained 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 fires and other incidents, such as water rescues and road traffic collisions.
"Enthusiasm and motivation are key qualities that are essential, as well as the ability to work as part of a team.”
The Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is particularly interested in recruiting on-call firefighters for Ipstones and Loggerheads, but there are also vacancies in Leek, Cheadle, Kidsgrove and Burslem. Anyone that lives or works within five minutes of a fire station is encouraged to drop in to meet the crews during their drill nights to find out more.
More information about the campaign for either service can be found at www.oncallfire.uk