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Firefighters encourage others to join Kent's life savers

Firefighters encourage others to join Kent's life savers

New recruits carrying RTC training

27 March 2015

Three Kent on-call firefighters are calling on people who live in Lenham, Borough Green or Headcorn to consider joining their crews, and develop an incredible role within the local community.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service has begun a new recruitment campaign for its on-call fire stations and is looking for people who want to make a difference to the place where they live.

"You can be having a routine day at work and then later that evening be training on a collapsed buildings drill, a live fire exercise in breathing apparatus, or attending an incident and making a real difference to your community," explains Kieran Killeen, who has been working as an on-call firefighter in Headcorn for five years.

The 48-year-old advertising consultant, who works between London and his home, added: "I appreciate the strong sense of teamwork, working in a group where your lives can literally depend on each other, so the trust and support is immense."

On-call crews work alongside full time colleagues and partner agencies, dealing with emergency situations such as road traffic collisions, fires, and flooding. Being an on-call firefighter is a vital part of the local and wider community, providing an essential emergency service.

Kieran added: "I have also made some terrific friends through my involvement with the Fire Service. I would like to highlight to anyone considering applying that it’s a role you can carry out alongside other commitments, by agreeing in advance to the number of hours and times that you will be available."

57 year-old Lenham resident Bruce Mathews joined KFRS in 1976 and has been a crew manager at Lenham for 12 years. Bruce, who is married with two daughters and two grandchildren, offers hours that fit around his day job as a postman. He said: "My day job starts and finishes early, which means I am able to offer on-call cover overnight on weekdays, usually from around 6 or 7pm.

"I find the role fits in well with my work and family and has a good degree of flexibility, so I can plan my life around my hours, providing the cover that KFRS needs. Being an on-call firefighter has improved my skill base and it’s also rewarding to know that when my pager goes off I’ll be doing something to help my local area."

Andy Short, who is 52 years-old has been an on-call firefighter for two years and transferred to Borough Green fire station six months ago when he moved to Ightam. Andy, who is married has two teenage daughters and an eight-year-old son, said: "I retired from the police force four years ago and taking on this role has really suited my circumstances. It takes just two minutes to get to the station from home and I am able to offer my time to keep the fire engine available when it is needed."

He added: "I work with a great team and I really enjoy the sense of community spirit, as well as being involved in an activity that makes a positive difference."

Station Manager Paul Ramsden said: "We want to challenge the stereotype that only a certain sort of person can be an on-call firefighter; this could be a great job for all kinds of people. You’ll receive all the necessary training to carry out the role, and take part in regular courses throughout your career to maintain your skills. There may also be the opportunity to take on additional responsibilities such as driving fire engines and managerial roles."

Further information can be found at www.kent.fire-uk.org/oncall or by attending one of the following events:

  • Borough Green fire station recruitment evening on Monday 30 March 2015 from 7pm to 9pm. Email mitchell.kelly@kent.fire-uk.org or call 01622 692121 (ext:5650)
  • Headcorn fire station drop-in session on Monday 20 April between 7pm and 10pm. Email tony.nicola@kent.fire-uk.org or call 01622 692121 (ext:7391)
  • Lenham fire station drop-in session on Monday 20 April 2015 between 7.30pm and 9.30pm. Email stephen.browne@kent.fire-uk.org or call 01622 692121 (ext:7403).

Kent Fire and Rescue Service will be recruiting up to 30 April 2015. KFRS is also recruiting at six further stations around the county; Cranbrook, New Romney, Westerham, Edenbridge, Ash-cum-Ridley and Eastchurch.

Station Manager Paul Ramsden
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