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Fire service needs you says watch boss

PUBLISHED: 19:28 03 September 2010 | UPDATED: 09:50 16 September 2010

ONE of Suffolk's smallest fire stations is stepping up its search for volunteers to help keep the service going.

Wrentham fire station, located in the heart of the village, covers a wide rural area, its crew tackling fires and answering other emergencies along the A12 and north towards Lowestoft and Beccles.

ONE of Suffolk's smallest fire stations is stepping up its search for volunteers to help keep the service going.

Wrentham fire station, located in the heart of the village, covers a wide rural area, its crew tackling fires and answering other emergencies along the A12 and north towards Lowestoft and Beccles.

Now the station's new watch manager is hoping more local people will take on the challenge of becoming retained firefighters.

The station currently has a retained crew of nine, but watch manager Neil Hambling needs to find people who are available during the day time to fill the final two vacancies.

He said: “There's not much industry in Wrentham, so most people work away in Lowestoft or Beccles, there aren't many people who are free during the day and that's when we need more cover.

“If we could fill these two vacancies, that would make the difference between us sometimes being short of people and not being able to go out, and going out for every call.”

Mr Hambling, who has just become the station's watch manager after the retirement of Paul Brown, works full-time as a firefighter in Great Yarmouth and first fell in love with the job after signing up as a retained firefighter in Southwold 10 years ago. “It's a brilliant thing to do,” he said.

“Some people are put off because they think they won't be able to do it, but as long as you pass the basic medical and fitness tests, it's a great opportunity.

“As well as learning new skills and working in a team, you get paid a retained wage and can get first aid and LGV driving qualifications. There's also a sense of achievement and self-stature in the community because you are helping other people.”

The station's recruitment catchment stretches north to Kessingland and around to Rushmere, Henstead, Shadingfield and Uggeshall.

Within the Waveney area, there are also vacancies for retained firefighters at Halesworth and Lowestoft South fire stations.

Anyone who wants to become a retained firefighter can apply online at www.suffolkjobsdirect.org. Or you can visit Wrentham or any other station in the Waveney district between 7pm and 9pm on a Tuesday.

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