Saturday, 18 September 2021
A NEW retained firefighter has joined closure-threatened Wargrave fire station.
Neil Harling, 44, lives within two minutes of the station in Victoria Road.
He underwent training over the summer and went on his first call-out earlier this month.
Retained support officer Jon Murby said another eight people were currently being trained.
The recruitment campaign comes after the station was temporarily saved from closure following public consultation on savings to be made by the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority.
Residents across the county were asked to state their preference for seven possible cost-cutting measures to save £1.4 million and three of these included closing the Wargrave station.
The most popular proposal was to close Wargrave and Pangbourne fire stations and abolish the retained support unit and remotely manage three other stations.
But the authority voted to amend the plan and allow the Wargrave station to stay open for another 12 months from October during which it must increase the availability of its crew to 60
The decision followed a campaign by residents, supported by parish and borough councillors.
A petition was signed by hundreds of people.
Anyone interested in becoming a retained firefighter should visit http://www.rbfrs.co.uk/working-for-us/on-call-firefighters/ for more information.
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