Battle Fire Station meeting - Station’s struggle to recruit retained firefighters

BATTLE Fire Station has a history of struggling to recruit retained cover.

Retained firefighters are paid between £6,000-£8,000 a year, with £16 for every call out attended.

Over 90 percent of retained firefighters in East Sussex do their firefighting work alongside their ‘normal’ day job, and ESFRS has struggled to find people to fill the roles in the past.

There are currently vacancies for retained firefighters at 12 stations in East Sussex, including Battle, according to the ESFRS website.

Deputy chief fire officer Gary Walsh said: “It’s cyclical. Sometimes you have got retained cover, sometimes you do not.”

Meanwhile one woman questioned how retained firefighters are supposed to reach the town’s station in the first place in order to attend calls.

She asked DCFO Walsh: “When you talk about arterial routes, did you look at an ordinance survey map? Did you come to Battle? Did you try and get through The Ridge?

“Try and get through Battle at 8.30am-9.30am. It can take up to 45 minutes.”