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Call for retained firefighters to step up

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 28, 2013

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IF you have a taste for danger, crave an adrenaline rush and feel a sense of duty, you could be well suited to life as a retained firefighter.

The county's fire and rescue service is appealing for people to come forward if they are willing to give up their time to help their community.

You must be over the age of 18, physically fit and live or work within five minutes of a fire station.

Iain Robertson, 53, who was one of the first firefighters on the scene of the Rosehill Street gas explosion, has worked in a retained role in Winchcombe for three-and-a-half years.

He believes in return for the sacrifices you get a lot back in job satisfaction.

The Winchcombe resident said: "I am 53 now and when I was just starting out in life I served with the Parachute Regiment for six years and a close friend of mine joined the fire service at the same time.

"There is a similar adrenaline rush and also the sense of camaraderie and service but it was only in the last seven or so years that I became aware of the retained service.

"There were three things that drove me to do it: one of them was absolutely that adrenaline, that sense of doing, the other one was a desire to put something back into the community and also it's about fitness and that desire to find a lever that would keep me incentivised to keep my own levels of fitness up.

"After you are trained you are issued with an alerter and eventually you will get that first call out which is extraordinarily nerve-racking, sat on the back of a fire engine with the lights going and going however fast.

"You have to acknowledge that it is not without danger, but the training is good and the equipment in the modern era is good and there is a team approach to all of this."

Father-of-two Andy Harvey is also a retained firefighter.

He is stationed at based in Churchdown.

He said: "It is intense, but it is worth it in the long run.

"I have been at work or at home and have had to leave what I'm doing when the call comes. It serves a purpose rather than being just another job."

The service is appealing for more retained firefighters to sign up to help.

The fire service is to hold recruitment evenings across the county and you can find out more about becoming a retained firefighter by emailing rdsrecruit ment@glosfire.gov.uk.

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