VIDEO: More firefighters are needed in our villages

Storrington Fire Station showed its firefighters in action and encouraged more people to join up and save lives.

Retain liaison officerMartin McKilligin said there is a great demand for retained firefighters in the South Downs area, including Henfield, Storrington and Petworth.

JPCT 200213 Storrington's retained firefighters. Mandy Anderson. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 200213 Storrington's retained firefighters. Mandy Anderson. Photo by Derek Martin

“The retained firefighter is someone who lives or works within four minutes of the fire station,” explained Mr McKilligin

“They carry out the same tasks as a full time firefighter, but we employ on a retained mandatory basis to respond during the working day or night.”

Performing the exact same training as a full time firefighter, the retained crew is paid an hourly rate as and when they are needed.

In order to fit the criteria, an applicant must take a series of written and practical tests over 11 weeks. Next the recruit is able to work at the fire station, whilst undergoing two years of further training.

However, Mr McKilligin revealed that fewer people are applying for the position: “There are vacancies throughout West Sussex. Obviously, people are always leaving because it doesn’t fit into the remit of their life structure anymore, but it’s not a full time job.”

If you’re interested in joining the team, call 01243 642 134.

As part of the campaign, the team would also like to break down stereotypes and encourage more female recruits.

See next week’s County Times for a special report.