Kent Fire and Rescue Service is working with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) this week as part of a national campaign encouraging people to become on-call firefighters.
The "Need More" awareness week runs from 7 to 13 January 2019 and aims to highlight opportunities available in the fire service, while busting myths about what it takes to be a firefighter.
Throughout the week, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) will be celebrating its on-call staff and sharing stories about what drives them to become firefighters.
On-call firefighters come from every walk of life, including homemakers, shop workers, builders, farmers, administration officers and directors of companies, together with people who are not in currently in primary employment.
The campaign is supported by a national website - www.oncallfire.uk - which encourages people to get in touch with their local fire service, in January or anytime throughout the year.
On-call firefighters are required to live or work within five minutes travelling time from a local on-call fire station and to be able to provide evening, daytime or weekend availability to attend a wide range of emergency fire and rescue incidents.
To be an on-call firefighter, you must:
- Have a strong desire to support the local community.
- Live or/and work within 5 minutes of your local fire station.
- Be enthusiastic about working as part of a team.
- Have a good level of personal fitness.
- Be at least 18 years old.
Full training is provided on an ongoing basis, therefore previous experience is not needed.
An on-call firefighter could be called out two or three times a week, for a few hours at a time. On call firefighters are paid to be available for an agreed number of hours based around people’s other commitments and station demand. During that time, they are able to carry on their normal life, but are paid to be available when an incident comes in.
KFRS station manager Paul Ramsden said: "On-call firefighters are an integral part of our service and the community. We are keen to encourage anyone with the right skills and who wishes to make a real difference, to get in touch and find out about the opportunities we have available."
Find out more about becoming an on-call firefighter and see a full list of recruiting stations in Kent and Medway.
The national website also gives advice to employers and how having on-call firefighters within their business can bring advantages. These include health and safety and medical response training, as well as developing situational awareness, leadership skills and the ability to work under pressure.