Fire service calls for more to join retained crews

Piotr Gozdur passed out at Worthing Fire Station last Friday
Piotr Gozdur passed out at Worthing Fire Station last Friday

STEYNING has welcomed a new retained firefighter.

Piotr Gozdur passed out at Worthing Fire Station last Friday, having completed an intensive training course and now joins colleagues at Steyning Fire Station.

Mick Dunham, the training course director, said being a retained firefighter was demanding but hugely rewarding.

“Piotr has really risen to the challenge during what is a very tough and intensive training course and I am confident that he will be a great asset to Steyning fire station and the local community.”

Watch manager with West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Mr Dunham said more retained firefighters were needed around the county.

“We welcome applications from all sections of the community. All you need in the first instance is to be over 18, have a good level of fitness and live within four minutes’ travel of the station.

“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.”

Retained firefighters are ‘on call’ for the fire service, which means they are ready to spring into immediate action to deal with a 999 incident and could receive a pager alert when at home or work.

Out of 25 fire stations in West Sussex, 14 are fully crewed by retained firefighters. Others, like Shoreham, have a mix of full-time and retained firefighters.

Regular training in firefighting, rescue and extrication techniques is provided to equip retained firefighters 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.

Call 01243 642134 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire to find out more.