The first “taster” day of 2015 to encourage more people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds to join the fire service as on call firefighters has been held in Shropshire.
An Army veteran, ex-student, office worker and engineer turned up at Wellington Fire Station in Telford at the weekend to talk to firefighters, tour the station, watch equipment demonstrations and hear about the recruitment process and career information.
It was all part of a campaign by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service to promote a firefighting career to the thousands of black, Asian, and minority ethnic people living in the county.
British born former Telford College student Akib Ali (20), of Hurleybrook Way, Leegomery, Telford, whose parents are from Pakistan, said he had been considering a career in the fire service for a number of years and would now be putting in his application.
Ex-soldier Fitzroy Lindsay (40), an Army reservist, of Dee Close, Wellington, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, said he too would be applying to become an on-call firefighter.
Tony Stewart (53), of Kingsley Drive, Donnington, said: “I’ve just come to see what it is all about.”
While Tom Headley (30), of Mill Bank, Wellington, said: “I just live across the road and I think it would be a rewarding career. It’s a chance to give something back and help the community.”
Wellington firefighters Luke Grant and Lee Guinea told them that life as a firefighter was more than “just squirting water on a fire” and involved fire prevention with school visits, community work, fitting smoke alarms, attending weekly drill nights and carrying out car, water and animal rescues.
“In the fire service you are part of a team. We spend a lot of time together and after a drill night we all go for a curry,” said Luke Grant, who joined the fire service ten years ago after attending a similar “taster” day.
Watch Manager Phil Davies said: “It’s important we get the best people for the job from the whole Shropshire community.”
Men and women interested in a fire service career are invited to attend drill nights at Wellington Fire Station at 6.15pm on Tuesdays or visit their local fire station for more details.
For more information contact Natalie Parkinson or Laura Kavanagh-Jones at Shrewsbury fire HQ on 01743 260200.
On call firefighters must live or work within five minutes of a fire station and turn out for a set number of hours each week to answer 999 calls and attend weekly drill sessions.
The brigade provides full training, support, promotion opportunities, excellent pay, uniform and conditions of service. A suitable candidate must pass job related physical tests and ideally has good communication skills and enjoys working in a team.
ALSO PICTURED: Akib Ali tries on a firefighter’s jacket for size from firefighter Sarah Cattell
Firefighter Luke Grant talks about fire kit to Army reservist Fitzroy Lindsay
Fitzroy Lindsay in fire kit