MP urges residents to become retained firefighters

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PEOPLE who want to give something back to the community have been encouraged to become a retained firefighter by an MP.

Alan Mak, the Member of Parliament for Havant, got behind the call for more volunteer firefighters after a meeting at Havant fire station with the chief fire officer for Hampshire, Dave Curry, and local firefighters.

Without retained firefighters, who have other jobs but who are on call, the fire service would not be able to respond to all emergency calls.

Some full-time firefighters also double up as retained firefighters, acting as on-call volunteers in their free time.

Mr Mak had a chat with the firefighters and discussed strategic issues with Mr Curry.

After, he said: ‘Our brave firefighters who are on-call night and day do a fantastic job.

‘Their commitment and public service ethic reflected the fact both full-time and retained firefighters clearly believed they were doing highly rewarding jobs.

‘While the Havant area has good firefighter coverage, the service is always looking to train more to provide better flexibility. I encourage anyone looking to give something back to the community to consider becoming a retained firefighter.’

Although they are paid when called out, most retained firefighters work to give something back to the community in which they live.

Retained applicants can be male or female and should live or work within four minutes’ travel time from the Havant, Hayling or Emsworth fire stations.

They are expected to attend training sessions once a week and will receive a retaining fee. Additional payments are made for any courses or incidents they attend.

Justin Turner, station manager for Havant, Emsworth and Hayling Island, said: ‘Retained firefighters are a key part of the fire and rescue service and come from a cross section of our community.

‘They are trained and paid for responding to calls, and do the same job as whole-time firefighters. We encourage anyone interested in finding out more to come to one of our drill nights.’

Visit hantsfire.gov.uk or call 07918 888062 for more.