Shortage of firefighters to cover Seaton and Colyton

PUBLISHED: 07:01 04 February 2020

Colyton firefighters Tracy Trelease, Darren Smith (holding young William Smith) and James Voysey. Picture: CFS

Colyton firefighters Tracy Trelease, Darren Smith (holding young William Smith) and James Voysey. Picture: CFS

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A shortage of firefighters at Seaton and Colyton has set alarm bells ringing.

Brigade chiefs are appealing for more volunteers to keep crew numbers up to strength.

They are looking for people from the local community to join their ranks as on-call firefighters.

Crew manager Tracy Trelease said: "We are particularly looking for people who can provide some cover during the daytimes, but we can be flexible and all expressions of interest would be welcome.

"It is an opportunity for men and women who live and/or work within five minutes response time to the fire station to potentially save lives in fire, flood and road traffic emergencies.

"Our current crew all have primary occupations whilst on-call, either employed or self-employed.

"For example, we are builders, mechanics, gardeners and a farmer - all give cover as on-call firefighters for the community of Colyton and Seaton."

No previous experience of firefighting is necessary for the role - just a commitment to the community, a positive attitude and a reasonably good level of fitness.

Once recruited full training in the use of all fire service equipment is provided then, apart for a few hours a week for training sessions, volunteers only attend the station when they receive an emergency call out.

On-call firefighters receive payment, although the amount depends on the hours they make themselves available.

Applicants need to be over 18 and have a good level of fitness and strength, although you don't need to be an athlete. People often overestimate the levels required and this can deter them - particularly women - from applying. However, it is a tough job and volunteers will need to maintain a level of fitness.

The fire service will give people advice and help in preparing for both the written and practical assessments. Equally living with a disability is not automatically a barrier to operational firefighting - it depends on the nature of the disability.

Anyone interested can email Tracy Trelease direct on ttrelease@dsfire.gov.uk or go along to Colyton Fire Station on Tuesdays, between 7pm and 9pm, or Seaton Fire Station on Mondays during the same hours.

More information about becoming an on-call firefighter is on the website www.dsfire.gov.uk


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