Crowthorne fire station is appealing for ordinary folk to become 'retained' firefighters
Published: 21 May 2014 12:000 comments
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is looking for staff for the High Street station – and says the job is suitable for anyone who wants to make a difference for the community.
Crowthorne does not have a full-time fire crew, only retained staff, who were
heavily involved in fighting the devastating Swinley Forest fires in 2011.
Ellie Gray, press officer at RBFRS, said: “Like their wholetime colleagues, retained firefighters need to be active, practically-minded and enjoy working in a variety of roles. However, they are not based on a fire station but instead often have other employment and respond to call-outs via a pager.”
She added the role is perfect for people who “enjoy a challenge, thrive on learning new skills and work well as part of a team”.
Retained firefighters must live or work within six minutes of the fire station and will receive comprehensive ongoing training throughout their career.
On average, retained firefighters are called out two or three times a week for a couple of hours. For anyone who is not available all the time, you can choose to be on call for only part of the day or week.
Ben Watts, a retained firefighter at Crowthorne, said: “I joined the fire and rescue service as a retained firefighter because I wanted to further myself, learn new skills and face new challenges.
“Serving the community that I live in gives me a great sense of pride. The friendship that you gain on station creates bonds that I have not found in any other line of work. It becomes a second family where everyone helps out each other in all aspects of life.”
Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a good level of all-round fitness and be able to communicate effectively. The role is open to men and women from all backgrounds.
Plans to scrap the use of retained firefighters in Bracknell is set to be put to public consultation after the idea was discussed by Royal Berkshire Fire Authority last month.
There will be more discussions over the future of the service in Ascot, where they are just two retained firefighters – not enough for the town to have its own dedicated crew.