Host of firefighters recruited across Norfolk but more are still needed
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
Vacancies at fire stations across Norfolk have been filled with the appointment of 15 new firefighters.
The latest retained firefighters to be recruited by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service have completed their initial two-week training programme.
The new recruits will be continually trained on the job over the next two years and will be based at stations including Cromer, Great Yarmouth, Hethersett, Diss, Martham, Loddon, Hingham, Attleborough, Sandringham, Gorleston, Methwold and Outwell.
Norfolk's chief fire officer David Ashworth said: 'This is really good news for the stations involved and the communities they serve.
'We have identified retained recruitment as a priority for the service and have invested a great deal of time and effort into improving our recruitment process.
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'It is pleasing to see this delivering positive results.'
However, there are still 56 retained firefighter vacancies across the county.
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Filling the roles is vital for the fire service as 39 of Norfolk's 42 stations rely on retained firefighters.
For fire engines to go out, they must be staffed by a minimum crew of four. If no crew is available fire engines from further afield are dispatched instead meaning response times are slower.
Brett Hopcroft, retained development manager, said: 'These latest appointments are helping us to ensure cover for as much of Norfolk as possible when our services are needed, but we still need more and would love to fill every vacancy.
'All recruits went through a rigorous process to make it on to the course, and over this initial two weeks they have been learning the basics around dealing with different types of incident, including fires, road traffic incidents, as well as how to work safely at height and near water.'
He added: 'It is great to be able to welcome them into the service and I know how rewarding they will find their new careers whilst they respond to their community's needs.'
As well as the retained fee, firefighters are paid per call out and for their weekly training session earning on average £7,000 per year.
If you are interested in becoming a retained firefighter for the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service you can apply via: www.norfolkfireservice.gov.uk/nfrs/becoming-a-retained-firefighter