Retained firefighters in training during a session in Norfolk.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is looking to recruit on-call firefighters across the borough as part of a week-long campaign.

There are vacancies at 10 stations in West Norfolk, with a total of 23 roles to be filled.

The service also has a shortage of female firefighters or those from an ethnic minority background.

To be a retained firefighter you must be over 18 years old and live or work within five minutes of a retained fire station.

On-call roles allow people to continue with existing careers and commitments.

Retained firefighters are paid for being on-call and carry a pager which alerts them when something occurs and, on average, on-call firefighters earn £7,000 a year.

They are also paid per call out and for all courses as well as weekly training sessions.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: “Recruiting to these roles is vital in ensuring that our communities are as safe as possible.

“Filling on-call vacancies makes the service’s emergency response times quicker, as crews are readily available at our rural fire stations.

“If a full crew is not available, fire crews from further afield attend, increasing the time it takes to get to the incident.”

Sandringham has the most vacancies in the borough, with six roles to fill, while Hunstanton has four and Heacham three.

Outwell also needs three more firefighters, while Massingham requires another two. King’s Lynn North, Downham Market, Methwold, Terrington St Clement and West Walton all have one vacant slot.

Taster sessions are being held for anyone who might be interested in applying.       

There will be a formal application process and successful recruits will begin an initial two-week training programme later this spring.

This covers the basics around dealing with fires and road traffic crashes as well as how to work safely at height and near water.

If applicants pass that stage they will attend a breathing apparatus course and then be allocated to a crew at their local fire station and be in development, learning on the job, for two years.

King’s Lynn North station will be hosting the borough’s taster session on Monday, March 25, from 6pm to 9pm. 

To register interest visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/safety/norfolk-fire-and-rescue-service/recruitment/becoming-a-retained-firefighter and request a call back.

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