Firefighters seek new recruits

Laurencekirk firefighters examine cutting equipment during one of their weekly training nights.
Laurencekirk firefighters examine cutting equipment during one of their weekly training nights.

“Your community needs You.” That is the message from the local fire stations at Laurencekirk and Inverbervie.

Due to a change in local working practices and lifestyles, rural fire stations like Laurencekirk and Inverbervie are now severely undermanned, with many of their personnel working outwith the communities during the daytime period 6am - 6pm.

Grampian Fire and Rescue Service would like to encourage local men and women to step forward and help protect their communities. The service would also encourage local employers to consider releasing their employees so that they could join the local retained units and help respond to emergency situations.

Falling firefighter numbers puts greater pressure on the service to attend local incidents within the timescale required. This could result in fire applicances taking considerably longer to attend in an emergency situation.

Watch manager at Laurencekirk, Tom Fleming, would encourage any local resident who can provide day time cover, is a good team player and can respond safely to the fire station within seven minutes to come forward.

Speaking on behalf of both Laurencekirk and Inverbervie, WM Fleming said: “New recruits would help boost long established fire stations that already provide commitment, enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism.

“If you have a good level of fitness, have the desire to be part of a team and are willing to learn new and exciting skills, then please get in touch.”

The stations at Laurencekirk and Inverbervie receive 100-120 calls per year, an average of 2-3 per week.

In addition to attending emergency situations, personnel are required to attend a training night on a Tuesday, 7pm - 9.30pm for on-going training and to maintain skills. In return you will receive an annual retaining fee, an hourly rate for emergency incidents and training and 28 days leave per year.

The Laurencekirk station has nine personnel at present, while Inverbervie has ten. Both stations would like to raise their numbers to 12.

Applications are invited from men and women aged 18-50. New recruits will receive initial training in two four-day blocks and will go through a breathing apparatus course six months after joining.

Retained firefighters are required to carry a pager 24/7 and be in a job where the employer appreciates the need to drop everything and respond to emergencies.

WM Fleming adds: “A minimum of four firefighters are needed to respond to an incident, so at times a pump cannot be manned from the local stations. This is something we are seeking to avoid.”

If you are interested in becoming a retained firefighter, contact Watch Manager Tom Fleming on 01561 377717 or 07709 519003 or Watch Manager David Beattie 01561 362139. Or visit either fire station on a Tuesday evening.