Cleveland Fire Brigade is looking to harness the generosity of the human spirit generated during the Covid crisis by appealing for people to step forward as community on-call firefighters.
Steve Johnson, Area Manager, Prevention and Protection, said: “The fight against the virus has seen many people act selflessly in support of others. This has ranged from volunteers to vaccinators to looking after the vulnerable and the isolated. The opportunity to be an on-call firefighter embraces the same sense of community and is the chance to put the safety of your local community first. It is a challenging, varied and highly rewarding role as you will be sharing your duties with highly motivated colleagues and putting the safety of your local area, friends, and family and neighbours first.
“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.”
Two people who have recently taken up the role alongside their full-time jobs are teacher Tim Taylor and embalmer Niki Taylor.
Niki, who works in the funeral service in Stockton, said: “I enjoy being an on call firefighter as this is very different to my primary job role. During the day I care for the deceased within our community, while on call I protect the community and work as part of a team at Stockton Community Fire Station.
Having set working hours for my primary employment allows for me to plan my on call schedule around other personal commitments. I am fully trained the same as wholetime firefighters and have learnt new skills, made new friends and became more confident as a result.”
Tim, a history and games teacher at Yarm School and based at Yarm Community Fire Station, said: “I left the Army in 2015 to go into teaching. After five years I found I also wanted to push myself physically and mentally and contribute towards the thriving community I live in. As a teacher I have a busy working week but with a bit of prior planning, I am able to easily fit in my on-call hours and there is a degree of flexibility which is helpful across the year. The role gives me a great deal of fulfilment personally, recently for example I have been participating in the Brigade’s vaccination efforts against Covid-19 injecting people, marshalling and providing assistance front of house.
“The weekly drill nights are always a great way to conduct some enjoyable and physical training whilst also meeting and developing relationships with like minded people in the local area. I would fully recommend becoming a retained firefighter to anyone with drive, ambition and a desire to serve their community”.
On-call firefighters come from a cross-section of the community and have to be able to respond and arrive to their nearest on-call fire station within five minutes. No previous experience is required as comprehensive training is provided.
They 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 employed full-time and based at a fire station. The Brigade is looking to recruit at Guisborough, Redcar, Skelton and Stockton stations. For more information visit www.clevelandfire.gov.uk