A WARM welcome was given to new retained firefighters joining the teams around Chichester to help keep people safe.
Oli Dearing and Joe Dubben joined the crew at Chichester Fire Station, with Eddie Powell joining East Wittering.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome our new firefighters into the service and I wish them a long and successful career,” said Neil Stocker, area manager for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
“Retained firefighting is a demanding but highly-rewarding job and I have no doubt these firefighters will make a real difference
within their communities.”
The trio were welcomed at a passing out ceremony at Worthing Fire Station last Friday (July 11).
Mr Stocker added: “The retained duty system relies on the support of local employers who recognise the importance of allowing their staff to respond to incidents.
“Of course, there are benefits to the employer as well – retained firefighters learn new skills, like first aid and LGV driving, which they may be able to use in their full-time jobs as well.”
In total, nine new retained firefighters joined the county’s fire brigade last week, having just completed their initial training course.
The fire brigade said this gave them the essential skills needed to join their colleages at retained fire stations around the county.
Retained firefighters are on call for the fire service, meaning they are usually employed elsewhere or are at home when they receive a pager alert, but are ready to spring into immediate action to deal with a 999 incident.
Retained firefighters fully crew 14 of the 25 fire stations in West Sussex and are ‘vital’ to the delivery of the county’s fire and rescue service, according to the fire service.
They receive regular training in firefighting and rescue and extrication techniques. These equip them with the skills to deal with fires, road traffic accidents and a wide range of other emergencies, enabling them to save lives in their local community.
Anyone wanting to know more about becoming a retained firefighter can call 01243 642134 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire.