Hunt on to find 13 Norfolk firefighters as eight-year recruitment freeze comes to an end
Recruitment is under way for the first new full-time firefighter posts in Norfolk for eight years - after a self-imposed jobs freeze was lifted.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is looking to fill thirteen posts, with fire chiefs particularly concerned about shortages in Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn.
It is the first time the service has recruited full-time firefighters since 2006. In the intervening years, the service has relied on offering temporary full-time equivalent contracts to retained firefighters, or has not filled positions when members of staff have left or retired.
The new firefighters would start on a salary of just under £22,000 and the service is anticipating a 'very popular' response.
In addition to the 13 who do get jobs, the service hopes to build up a 'reserve list' of people who can be approached as and when jobs arise.
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Karen Palframan, from the Fire and Rescue Service, said: 'Our firefighters respond to emergency situations and protect Norfolk's residents, environment and property from all types of accidents and emergencies.
'Their working environment is often challenging, with work taking place in dangerous and unpleasant conditions: in heat and cold, at heights, in enclosed spaces, in smoke-filled buildings, in water, and in all kinds of weather conditions.
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'It's a physical role and firefighters work with heavy equipment, so you need to be physically fit.
'There's more to being a firefighter than extinguishing fires though and as such you'll work closely with the local community to increase fire and road safety awareness in order to prevent fires and accidents happening.
'You would be joining a closely knit team of people with a great sense of team spirit and our structured training and development will allow you to maximise your potential giving you the opportunity to progress into managerial or specialist areas such as protection, prevention, operational resilience or training to develop your career further.'
Norfolk's chief fire officer Nigel Williams recently admitted there have been times when the full-time crew from Earlham fire station, in Ivy Road, has had to be drafted out to stations elsewhere in Norfolk because of a shortage of firefighters.
He stressed the station had not been closed, with cover available through a retained part-time crew based at Earlham, but said there had been occasions when he had been forced to take the full-time crew 'off the run'.
Fire chiefs also revealed sixteen fire stations in Norfolk are suffering from staff shortages, because of a shortfall of 27 retained firefighters.
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