News release text
“I needed a challenge and I wanted to work in my community helping people who are in trouble,” explains Tunbridge Wells antiques dealer Phil Nimmo as he urges others to join him as an on-call firefighter for Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
The 46-year-old dad of one has run his business in Calverley Road for 14 years but for the past four years, he has also combined it with his role of dealing with major incidents including fires and car crashes. Providing daytime cover and one night a week, Phil responds to a pager if needed and has to be at Tunbridge Wells Fire Station and ready to respond within five minutes of being called.
“There were a few reasons which prompted me to join, I needed a challenge mainly,” says Phil. “My cousin had worked with London Fire Brigade for 30 years and he always said that he didn’t regret one day; I just wanted a different experience so when the recruitment opportunity came up, I jumped at it.
“I think my message to others would be that it is a challenge and you are dealing with incidents that most people would never get to see. You’re helping people who are in trouble and I wanted to work in my community and be part of the community.”
Tunbridge Wells is one of 27 stations across Kent currently recruiting. On-call firefighters are paid to be available for an agreed number of hours and during that time they can go about their normal life at home. However, if they are called, they must be able to drop what they are doing and get to the station, to be ready to respond operationally within five minutes. The contracted hours KFRS will offer will be based on what the station needs to deal with the risk in the area.
All kinds of people can be on-call firefighters. Most have other jobs, so it may appeal to men or women who are looking for extra shifts, want to take on an extra challenge, or perhaps want something to fit in with childcare.
Phil explains how he runs a business and provides on call cover for KFRS: “I am lucky because I have a good customer basis and good support from another shop owner so if I’m paged, I can just go. Fortunately most jobs are not that long but if it was a protracted incident, I could text someone to help me out with the shop.”
Requirements include being over 18, physically fit, with good levels of reading and writing and candidates must be able to be operationally ready within five minutes. Full training is provided. Anyone interested can find details of the stations, hours needed, recruitment criteria and a film showing the fitness tests on http://www.kentfirejobs.info/
The current recruitment campaign is open until 30 September. An information session is being held at Tunbridge Wells Fire Station at 7pm on Tuesday 10 September for anyone who may be interested in applying.
Note to newdesks:
If you would like more information, please contact the KFRS press office on (01622) 212425.