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Do you have what it takes become a KFRS volunteer?

Do you have what it takes to be a KFRS volunteer?

10 May 2018

Not all heroes wear capes, or even firefighting kit - some wear Kent Fire and Rescue Service volunteer fleeces.  

Today (10 May), KFRS is launching its volunteer recruitment programme, and is looking for people with an interest in helping others, to join its team.

Volunteers have a very important role to play, and if you think they just stand around handing out leaflets, you can think again.

Sometimes you’ll spot them at events, engaging with the community and spreading safety messages, but you’ll also see them at devastating scenes of fire and other incidents, supporting those affected as part of the Volunteer Response Team (VRT).

Volunteer Warren Fassenfelt
KFRS volunteer, Warren Fassenfelt

Warren Fessenfelt, 33, from Whitstable, has been a KFRS volunteer for just under 18 months, and has experienced the variety of the role.

He said: “It’s so diverse. One evening I’ll be at a Biker Down event at the Road Safety Experience in Rochester, and the next thing I know I’ll be part of the VRT, helping someone that’s been involved in an incident.

“When I first applied I thought it would literally be going to events with a stand and giving out leaflets, but it’s so much more.”

The married father of four always dreamed of being a firefighter, but due to work and home life commitments, he decided it wasn’t the right job for him.

He said: “Being a volunteer with KFRS was the next best thing for me, I still get to work with an organisation that saves lives and makes a difference. I really wanted to give something back to the community and you definitely get that feel good factor with this role.

“The other day I was helping an elderly disabled man whose flat had been damaged by fire. I worked with housing officers to help him secure suitable temporary accommodation.

“It’s all about having the right information to be able to help people, being understanding and being able to listen to people when they need support.”

The role has also armed Warren with a range of transferrable skills. He said: “You get lots of training when you’re a volunteer, such as first aid and lots of other skills that can be useful in your day job.”

With four children and his day job at South East Water often requiring him to be on standby cover, Warren says the role is very flexible: “KFRS is very good at fitting the volunteer work around your day job and family life. You get an email telling you what’s coming up and you can decide what you’re available to do.

“My 3-year-old son loves anything to do with the fire service, he always thinks I’m going out to fight fires, but I make sure I tell him I’m not!”

To find out more about becoming a volunteer with Kent Fire and Rescue Service click here.

Applications close on Tuesday, 29 May 2018.

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