Hartlepool appeal for more community firefighters

Fire chiefs in Cleveland are calling for more people to step forward and take up the challenge of becoming a community firefighter in Hartlepool.

By Tom Patterson
Friday, 28th January 2022, 11:16 am
Updated Friday, 28th January 2022, 11:16 am

Cleveland Fire Brigade’s on-call firefighters come from a variety of backgrounds - including teachers, funeral directors and engineers – each putting time aside to take up the role.

Area manager Simon Weastell, who is senior head of operations at the brigade, said: “We recently welcomed eight new recruits to our on-call teams who demonstrated commitment dedication and selflessness in serving their local communities.

"In return we offer an annual retainer payment and hourly rates when firefighters attend incidents or training as well as disturbance fees.

On-call firefighters at Cleveland Fire Brigade.

"The role also provides an opportunity to learn new skills such as first aid, road traffic collision procedures and fire safety.”

He added: “Being an on-call firefighter is a varied and highly rewarding role and we are looking for others to follow their example. You will be sharing your duties with highly motivated colleagues and putting the safety of your local area, family, friends and neighbours first.

One of the areas where the brigade is particularly keen to recruit is Hartlepool’s Headland station.

Helen Alderson, one of the eight people to recently complete the 12-week firefighter training programme, said: “I have always admired the fire brigade and the service that they provide to the community.

Cleveland Fire Brigade is looking for people to serve Headland Fire Station. Picture by FRANK REID

"I became interested in becoming an on-call firefighter after seeing the recruitment drive a few years ago and, this year, decided to challenge myself and apply, with the hope I would be able to give back to the community in which I live.

"I work as a special educational needs co-ordinator, which which gives me the opportunity to devote my time in the school holidays to the role of on-call firefighter.”

Applications for the next on-call firefighters training course – which is due to start in June – closes on February 22.

Drop-in sessions are taking place at retained fire stations on their drill nights, and there will be on-line information sessions about the different stages of the selection process.

For more information, go to www.clevelandfire.gov.uk or email [email protected]