Could you be an on-call firefighter in Stokenchurch?
Tue 27 Oct, 2015
Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is used to responding to calls for help - and now it is making one of its own!
In spite of a recruitment campaign which has been running in Stokenchurch for almost six months, the number of local people who are willing or able to serve as on-call firefighters and keep the town’s fire engine on the run has continued to decline.
Recognising this issue, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has deployed a smaller appliance (pictured above) to the station so that it can be crewed by the reduced numbers and still provide an initial response to emergency incidents.
Group Commander Roger Brinklow said: “Over recent months, Stokenchurch Fire Station has seen its numbers decrease to such an extent that there are no longer enough people to take out a large fire engine.
“The station is crewed by people who live or work in the local community and respond by pager when there is an emergency. Numbers have decreased recently mainly due to individuals being unable to provide the time required for training and making themselves available for emergency calls.
“Unfortunately our recruitment campaign has had limited results, with few volunteers coming forward. There are still a number of dedicated staff at Stokenchurch who are keen to provide the emergency cover, but there have to be at least four people available to operate a normal fire engine.
“The intention is to return the main fire engine back to Stokenchurch as soon as there are adequate numbers to crew it, so if there are any individuals who feel they may be able to provide some time to provide this vital service to their local community then we would love to hear from them.”
On-call firefighters are paid staff who do the same job as full-time firefighters. The difference is that on-call staff are not based in a fire station - instead, they are on standby waiting to be called out.
They may be at home, working for themselves or working for a company that allows them to leave work to attend an emergency call.
Roger said: “On-call firefighters are a vital part of today’s fire and rescue service. They provide an efficient, cost-effective service that gives emergency cover to more than 90 per cent of the UK.
“We are hoping that people who haven’t previously considered applying will stop and ask themselves whether they can, in fact, provide cover at critical times of the day or night."
Like their full-time colleagues, on-call firefighters are trained and equipped to deal with a wide range of incidents and situations. These include fires, road traffic collisions, rescues and water related incidents.
There are benefits for employers who release staff to be on-call firefighters too. The employee will be professionally trained to deal with emergencies, and a firefighter on the staff could help save lives and property in the event of an emergency.
Staff can also be trained for further qualifications such as health and safety and first aid, which could help the business as well.
Please include the following details in your email:
- Your full name, home address and contact details (home phone/mobile)
- Your work address if intending to respond during work time.
- What time of day and days of the week would you be able to respond to emergencies?
- Are you an LGV or PSV driver in your main employment?