Have you got what it takes to become a retained firefighter?

Fire stations in Northumberland are seeking retained firefighters to join their dedicated teams.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is recruiting retained firefighters in seven fire stations including Rothbury, Amble, Haltwhistle, Prudhoe, Belford, Wooler and Ponteland.

Successful applicants will work as professional firefighters on-call for a specific number of hours each week to respond to emergency calls within their local area.

Many of Northumberland’s retained firefighters have other employment alongside their duties including full time administrator, Tracy Irwin.

Tracy became a retained firefighter 20 years ago at Haltwhistle Fire Station.

She said: “I became a retained firefighter after seeing an advert in a shop window and thought it would be a good challenge. I worked in an office, had just had a baby and felt it would be something different and was a great way to help the local community where I live.”

Tracy works full time, looks after her family and enjoys walking in the Lake district and keeping fit.

Tracy said: “There’s so many great things about being a retained firefighter. I love being able to help the public and the local community and there’s a great sense of camaraderie when working with a close knit team.

“There’s also lots of opportunities to progress and train in different areas including trauma care, appliance driver or watch manager.”

In her role, Tracy responds to a variety of emergency calls when on duty and supports the station during open days and community events.

Tracy added: “Becoming a retained firefighter is a huge commitment and will take up a lot of your time but the benefits and rewards of being able to help people in their hour of need overcomes any doubts which you may have in becoming a firefighter.

“I have completed 20 years’ service this year and can honestly say I have loved every minute of it. There have never been any times when I have doubted my decision to join and would recommend it to anyone.”

To become a retained firefighter, you must be aged 18 or over, live or work within five minutes travel time of the fire station and be flexible with working hours.

Paul Hedley, chief fire officer, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Being a firefighter is a challenging yet incredibly rewarding job and a great way to gain a variety of skills and experiences while earning money.

“In a rural county like Northumberland, our dedicated teams of retained firefighters provide an invaluable service  to our communities and this is a great opportunity to make a real contribution to your local area.”

Those wanting to apply to become a retained firefighter must be free between Saturday 29 October and Saturday 12 November and between Monday 28 November and Monday 12 December for training.

Applications must be received by 18 September.

If you have the flexibility and commitment Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is looking for, and would like to apply or find out more information visit www.norhtumberland.gov.uk/recruitment or visit your local fire station.
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