On Wednesday, April 18 our local Fire Station held an open day, inviting individuals to learn what may be required from recruits if they decide to join. What they are looking for are ‘retainers’, people who would like to be on the list of on-call retained duty system fire fighters. The expectation is that they live within a five minute response and are able/committed to drop anything they are doing when the call comes through.. This recruitment is across the county of East Sussex as Brighten and Hove do not have any ‘retainers’ at the moment. The minimum required to sign up is 40 Hours per week. It does not mean that the person works 40 hours but has to be available contractually.
Pip Budd, the HR administrator, explained that there is no age limit but that there is a lengthy process before acceptance as the individual has to pass a written and physical test and goes through extensive training. She also said that while the salary is not huge, there is a basic amount for being ‘retained and on top of that any hours on duty an hourly rate will be paid as well as a call out rate.
Several tasks were organised in the court yard behind the fire station, off Ferry Road, and various equipment laid out for the twenty or so interested attendees to try out. Plenty of professional fire fighters were present to make sure everyone trying the tasks was safe. There was a stuffed adult figure being dragged about for resuscitation, a heavy weight at the end of a rope, to try and pull up to the top of a tall building and quite a few people were waiting to experience walking up a very long ladder without fear. The professionals made quite sure volunteers wore the right equipment for this, helmet and being hooked up in case of a fall. Jodie Davis said after her climb: ” I don’t mind heights, it looks worse from the bottom.”
This was the last recruitment for the moment, lots to organise, but there will be others and anyone interested getting in touch to find out more can do so here.
Photos by Heidi Foster
Image Credits: John Minter .