Drive to bring new firefighters to Battle

Battle Fire Station, 5/3/14
Extended rescue appliance SUS-140503-113442001
Battle Fire Station, 5/3/14 Extended rescue appliance SUS-140503-113442001

A recruitment drive has been launched in a bid to bring more retained firefighters to Battle Fire Station.

The station relies on retained cover overnight and to back up the wholetime crews during the day.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s head office normally deals with prospective recruits, who don’t often get to meet the team at Battle until late into the process.

But now Battle’s firefighters want to support applicants from the start of the start of their journey.

Peter Everett has served as a firefighter for 20 years and is currently part of the wholetime crew at Eastbourne Fire Station.

He has also spent almost 18 of his 20 years as a retained firefighter at Battle.

Peter is leading the bid to recruit more retained staff.

He told the Observer there were plenty of reasons to join the fire service.

He said: “It’s rewarding. You are not only serving your community but you have some interesting calls, you see all your training come to fruition and you feel involved.

“And it pays you as well.”

Battle Fire Station has around 15 retained firefighters, but oscillates because of availability.

Peter said he hopes to recruit another eight to 10 people to join the team.

Retained firefighters are asked to book on for around 40 hours a week and must be prepared to attend any call during that period.

The service is looking to recruit both men and women - with stay at home mums particularly sought after to provide day time cover.

Peter said: “Across the service there are a number of full time and retained female firefighters who have been very successful.

“Some have moved on and moved out the area. We have had others who have served here who have then gone on to senior officer level.”

Many current retained firefighters are employed and include landscape gardeners, welders and staff from Hastings Direct.

Peter said: “It’s about finding quality, motivated individuals who can meet our needs.”

Recruits must attend training every Tuesday evening.

A recruitment drive will take place on the Abbey Green on Saturday (April 30) between 9am and noon.

All are welcome to come along and speak to crew members. Alternatively, anyone interested can visit training at the station on a Tuesday evening.

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