An ongoing campaign to encourage more Shropshire women to become part time professional firefighters launches again on Saturday, May 2, with a taster day at Craven Arms fire station.
A similar session held at Craven Arms last year resulted in mother of two Kat Frost (29), enrolling and successfully completing 12 months of training to join firefighting colleagues who turn out at a moment’s notice to respond to 999 calls in the area.
“It’s been an amazing 12 months from when I was accepted after passing the job related tests to finishing the breathing apparatus course which tests you mentally and physically.
“But I did it,” said Kat, who works as an evening barmaid at the Sun Inn at Clun and is an on call firefighter at Clun fire station.
Firefighters must live or work within five minutes of their local fire station, be fit and reliable and be able to attend for duty for an agreed number of hours, said Laura Kavanagh-Jones, of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.
“We will tell you what is involved in being an on call firefighter and you can talk to women firefighters from Shropshire about their experience.
“We provide training, support, promotion opportunities and excellent pay and conditions,” added Laura.
Visitors to the taster day will tour the fire station, see how some of the equipment works and talk to a fitness instructor about the required physical fitness tests.
Six more women have become firefighters in Shropshire since the taster sessions were launched a few years ago and another five have applied to join.
Passing the breathing apparatus course was “one of the best things I have ever done,” said Kat, who praised the ongoing support she is receiving from more experienced firefighters at Clun.
“The adrenalin rush is amazing. You have to confront your fears and I just couldn’t possibly have done this two years ago,” said the former nursery nurse, who joined Slimming World, ran and swam hundreds of miles and took up weight training to realise her dream.
Anyone interested should turn up at Craven Arms Fire Station for the 9.30am to midday event on May 2, contact Laura Kavanagh-Jones at Shrewsbury fire HQ on 01743 260200 for more information or visit www.shropshirefire.gov.uk You can follow your fire and rescue service on facebook and twitter for up to date information on firefighting in the county.