Recruitment opens for part-time firefighters

Neil Allport 1Cleveland Fire Brigade is holding a recruitment drive to find retained (part-time) firefighters to help protect their local community.

We are looking for recruits for stations in Redcar, Stockton, Headland, Yarm, Guisborough, Saltburn, Skelton and Loftus.

Retained firefighters are members of the community who are paid to provide an on-call service responding to emergency calls in the same way as full-time firefighters, using the same appliances and equipment, but who are ‘on call’ rather than based at a fire station.

Retained firefighters have to live and be able to respond and arrive within five minutes of their station. They respond via a pager system and need to turn out within five minutes during their hours of declared availability. They have to be at least 18 years of age with a good all round level of fitness. No previous experience is required due to the comprehensive training programme on offer.

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection for Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Firefighting is not like any other job. It can be unpredictable, exciting and rewarding coupled with the satisfaction and respect that comes with providing a crucial service to your local community. There is no denying that it is a tough but rewarding job.

“In return we offer an annual ‘retainer’ payment plus hourly rates paid when firefighters attend incidents or training as well as disturbance fees and the opportunity to learn new skills such as first aid, road traffic collision procedures and fire safety.”

A number of open events will take place over the next week for interested people to attend to find out more about becoming a retained firefighter. Potential recruits can attend any open event and have the opportunity to talk to current Retained Firefighters about their role, what the job involves, try out some of the equipment and find out about the tests recruits undergo.

Redcar, Trunk Road, TS10 5BW Saturday, 2 April 2016 – 11am to 2pm

Yarm, Thirsk Road, TS15 9LJ Sunday, 3 April 2016 – 11am to 2pm

Skelton, High Street, TS12 2ED Monday, 4 April 2016 – 6pm to 9pm

Guisborough, Park Lane, TS14 6NT Tuesday, 5 April 2016 – 6pm to 9pm

Headland, Durham Street, Hartlepool, TS24 0HQ  Wednesday, 6 April 2016 – 6pm to 9pm

Full details are available online at www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/recruitment/retained/ where a recruitment pack outlining the role of a retained firefighter, obligations of the post and benefits to recruits can be downloaded. The closing date for applications is Wednesday, 13 April.

Case study – Another brick in the call

Self-employed bricklayer Neil Allport is helping build a stronger community in Guisborough through his work as a retained firefighter.

“It is just a case of putting something back to the local area and helping local people,” says the 49-year-old father of two. “It is also very rewarding and different as you never really know what you are being called to next.

“It can range from small rubbish fires to serious road accidents and everything in between. We also give talks to schools and care homes and carry out health training on resuscitation techniques.

“The variety is a big appeal but also the fact that you live in the community and are on-call to make a difference to so many lives. It is a big commitment but something I would heartily recommend others to do.

“I live only a couple of minutes from the station so can get there in a matter of seconds when needed. Sometimes you jump in the appliance and only get to find out what is happening on the way to an incident.

“You also work with a lot of great colleagues who are also prepared to put in that little bit extra. You get great support and training with regular drills and courses. I’m currently working towards my Emergency Fire Services Operations in the Community NVQ. I have been a retained firefighter for 18 months and have never looked back. It can be physically and mentally demanding but I have enjoyed every single second.”

Self-employed Neil worked in London before moving back to his native Guisborough and is in big demand as a bricklayer with plenty of work away from his retained firefighter duties.