New firefighters are being sought in Northumberland for the first time in eight years as part of a region-wide campaign launched today.
Applicants are now being invited to apply to be a firefighter with Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, as well as County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.
For the last three weeks, the services have been delivering a series of taster sessions to help would-be firefighters understand key aspects of the role – including some of the physical challenges they need to overcome.
Paul Hedley, chief fire officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Our firefighters work hard throughout the community in both rural and urban settings.
“As a full-time firefighter you have the opportunity to become a role model within the community while developing your skills and beginning a new career path.
“If you are interested, we encourage you to apply – you do not need to have previously attended a taster session in order to apply.”
Firefighters now deliver a variety of roles, from attending to emergency incidents to working in their local communities to support safety messages and initiatives – from road and water safety to fire safety in schools and delivering Home Safety Checks.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s chief fire officer, Stuart Errington said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to become part of the fire and rescue service, the modern firefighter not only saves lives but provides a vital role within the community to educate people on how to stay as safe as possible.
“Educational initiatives in schools, colleges and community groups are also an important part of the work that our firefighters carry out.”
“I would encourage applications from anyone, regardless of your age, gender or your ethnicity, who genuinely wants to make a difference to people of the North East.”
The registration period is open for just five days, ending this Friday.
Chris Lowther, chief fire officer, for the Tyne and Wear Fire Rescue Service added: “This is an extremely exciting time for us, especially as we haven’t recruited firefighters for over eight years. “We are committed to encouraging anyone who wants to be a firefighter to apply.
“Our firefighters should reflect our communities and we want the right people to apply – that’s irrespective of gender, age or ethnicity.
“Our firefighters don’t just fight fires and rescue people from road traffic collisions, they play an integral role in our community to help prevent emergencies and accidents occurring in the first place.
“They also help to educate children on the risks from fire, water and roads.
“This isn’t a case of first come, first served.
“Each applicant will have the same opportunity to register and complete the online process. I can’t wait to meet our new recruits in October and wish all applicants the very best of luck.”
For details, visit http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Fire/Recruitment.aspx
Graeme Anderson, Local Democracy Reporting Service