Retained firefighters needed in Northumberland

Fire stations in Northumberland are seeking retained firefighters to join their dedicated teams.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 6th September 2016, 8:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th September 2016, 1:58 pm
Retained fireman Thomas Edwards-Clay
Retained fireman Thomas Edwards-Clay

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is recruiting retained firefighters in seven fire stations including Rothbury, Amble, Haltwhistle, Prudhoe, Belford, Wooler and Ponteland.

Successful applicants will work as professional firefighters on-call for a specific number of hours each week to respond to emergency calls within their local area.

Many of Northumberland’s retained firefighters have other employment alongside their duties including Health and Exercise consultant, Thomas Edwards-Clay.

Thomas became a retained firefighter nine months ago at Ponteland Community Fire Station.

He said: “From a young age becoming a firefighter had always been a dream. After developing my own business, a change in career never felt like an option but when I heard about the retained duty service, my dream of protecting the county, my immediate community and my family and friends became a real option.

Thomas works as a retained firefighter while looking after his family and developing his own business working with people with chronic autoimmune conditions to develop positive exercise habits.

Thomas said: “The best thing about working as a retained firefighter is working with a team of dedicated professionals who are happy to share their knowledge and experience in the fire and rescue service.

“I have found that it’s not just about learning new skills whilst on station, I have been able to offer constructive ideas, utilising my own prior knowledge and experience, to help develop our station and staff, together.

“The retained system allows me to be able to still work on building my business, but adds a little adventure to my day to day living.”

In his role, Thomas helps the Community Safety Team to carry out Safe and Well Being visits all over the county in his spare time. He has also recently taken part in a trauma care course, providing him with life saving skills.

Thomas added: “I would advise anyone interested in joining the fire service as a retained firefighter to visit their local station, talk to current crew members and have a go at some of the drills.”

To become a retained firefighter, you must be aged 18 or over, live or work within five minutes travel time of the fire station and be flexible with working hours.

Paul Hedley, chief fire officer, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Being a firefighter is a challenging yet incredibly rewarding job and a great way to gain a variety of skills and experiences while earning money.

“In a rural county like Northumberland, our dedicated teams of retained firefighters provide an invaluable service to our communities and this is a great opportunity to make a real contribution to your local area.”

Those wanting to apply to become a retained firefighter must be free between Saturday 29 October and Saturday 12 November and between Monday 28 November and Monday 12 December for training.

Applications must be received by 18th September.

If you have the flexibility and commitment Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is looking for, and would like to apply or find out more information visit or visit your local fire station.