Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Appeal for retained firefighters

EIGHT part-time firefighters are needed at Watlington fire station.

The station, in Gorwell, currently has six retained crew members but has lost others who have joined other stations, left the service or moved away.

On-call firefighters, who make up 60 per cent of Oxfordshire’s operational fire and rescue service, have other jobs but are available to answer an emergency call.

Station commander Marcus Reay said: “We’re appealing to business owners, or self-employed people who are perhaps working from home, to try to help during the day. Also parents who might be able to offer some cover while their children are at school.

“We are in a rural area so lots of our calls are to field fires and animal rescues but with our proximity to the M40 we also go to road traffic collisions.

“Having more firefighters would mean less pressure on the staff that we have got and the more we have the better.”

Retained firefighters earn, on average, £5,000 to £9,000 a year and they receive the same training as full-time staff.

If you’re 18 or over and live or work within close proximity of the station, you can apply.

Applications are now open for a training course starting in June and anyone interested in joining can visit the station on its drill night, held on Wednesdays from 7pm until 9pm.

Alternatively, call Mr Reay on 07788 183050 or visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/

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