Firefighters are desperately needed in Woburn, as the village station launches an exciting recruitment drive.
Woburn Community Fire Station are looking for brave villagers to join their paid on-call team, after a recent report from Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service announced the station was finding it difficult to attract new members.
To help the recruitment drive, it has also been mooted that the firefighters’ living distance from the station could be extended from five to six minutes, in order to give more people the opportunity to join.
Nick Paine, 33, crew commander at Woburn Community Fire Station, said: “Our problems recruiting have mainly been down to the size of population, as Woburn is very small and the role is like another full-time job. I used to work for the leisure department of Woburn Safari Park and got released in event of a fire! I didn’t have any previous experience but you can become fully trained.
“With regards to the distance, nothing has been confirmed. If it gets extended to six minutes there will still be personnel that live one minute away from the station. It would just be a top up crew - there would still be people available to respond in five minutes as they do now.”
The team are currently enrolling their 12th member, with the recruitment process consisting of an interview, and all the safety training courses a full-time firefighter would need, including sessions on breathing apparatus, ventilation, and water rescue.
Nick joined the village crew in 2002 and 12 years ago he became a full-time firefighter in Milton Keynes as well as continuing his Woburn duties.
He said: “You can be in you mid-fifities or older. We just need you to be fit enough!”
A fully trained Retained Duty System firefighter will receive a regular retaining fee of around £2,821 a year (around £235 a month).
Additional payments for attending incidents, drill nights and community safety events vary from station to station. It is not uncommon for an RDS firefighter to earn more than £6000 per year.
Call: 01234 845000 or visit: http://www.bedsfire.com/CareersandRecruitment/Operational%20Staff/Documents/Misc/FAQRetApp1005.pdf