More firefighters needed in North Somerset
SAVING someone from a burning building, rescuing stranded animals or protecting homes and businesses from destruction - these are just some of the many roles retained firefighters play in communities across North Somerset.
The part-time crew members, on call from their home or work place, make up almost a third of all crews employed by Avon Fire and Rescue Service, which is now looking to recruit more people to the role.
Known as retained duty system (RDS) firefighters, more are needed at fire stations in Clevedon, Nailsea, Pill and Yatton.
Station manager for Clevedon and Yatton Jon Brown said: “We are looking for people who are able to provide us with plenty of cover for these areas. This could include parents who have children at school during the day.
“We tend to struggle for crews during the day, especially now most people don’t tend to work in the villages they live in.”
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Michelle Scott became a retained firefighter in Yatton in May.
After going travelling for two years, the 37-year-old wanted a career change. She now works on her dad’s farm while being able to respond to emergency calls.
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Michelle said: “I absolutely love it – it is just awesome.
“It is one of those things when you never know what you are going to come across.
“Recently I was called to a kitchen fire. Before I even got home and had the chance to have a coffee we were then called to a woman with a baby who was stuck in her house because her door had jammed.”
RDS firefighters must remain within five minutes travelling distance of the station while on call and can choose to provide part cover or full cover. Those applying should have a good standard of fitness and be aged over 18.
Retained firefighters are treated as part-time workers so will receive benefits including pension rights, paid leave and sick pay.
* Open evenings on Tuesday will allow people to find out more about the role.
These will be held from 7-9pm at Yatton Fire Station in Rock Road, Clevedon Fire Station in Old Street, Nailsea Fire Station in Pound Lane and Pill Fire Station in Westward Drive. .
More details are available online at www.avonfire.gov.uk