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Officers at County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service are seeking to recruit part-time firefighters in the Newton Aycliffe area.

The recruitment drive for retained duty system (RDS), or part-time firefighters, has been sparked after two RDS crew transferred to become wholetime firefighters with CDDFRS, one retirement and one RDS firefighter moved to a fulltime police role.

Phil Innis district manager for Darlington district, covering Newton Aycliffe Fire Station, said: “RDS firefighters are trained to the same high standards as whole-time staff and they provide vital response cover across County Durham and Darlington. Several of our stations are operated only by RDS staff. It is crucial for the community that we have retained firefighters who live close to the station. We hope to attract people from all walks of life, who may not have considered taking up this important role in the past; we would urge them to apply and go through the training.

“We are particularly looking for firefighters to provide daytime cover in Newton Aycliffe. This can be especially difficult because most people work during the day. These roles may appeal to shift workers, those who are self-employed, or working part-time.

Retained firefighters must:

Be over 18-years-old;

Have good all-round fitness levels;

Live within five minutes of the station;

Be flexible about when they can work; and

Be able to attend a weekly drill night.

Retained firefighters are paid an annual fee of between £2,202 and £2,935 based on being available the standard 120 hours per week.

They also receive an hourly rate for time spent at an incident or in training, as well as a disturbance payment per call out.

Aside from the financial rewards, current retained staff speak of the job in terms of putting something back into the community, carrying out a very worthwhile role, enjoying being part of a team, being motivated to stay fit and healthy and benefitting from first-class training.

Recently a number of RDS firefighters were recruited to the wholetime service and their experience and training has helped this transition happen smoothly and swiftly.

Chief fire officer Stuart Errington said: “We have clear paths of progression through the service; we have seen several members of our Young Fire Fighters Association and Fire Cadets (*) take up RDS roles over the years. The recent wholetime recruitment from RDS to wholetime has been a win/win for the Service and the firefighters concerned; the service and community benefits from highly skilled and experienced members of staff who are tried and tested in this responsible role and the firefighters can progress into a full-time job that they know they enjoy.”

For more information or to arrange to join in a drill session at Newton Aycliffe Fire Station contact:

District manager Phil Innis: 01325 469128 / email: pinnis@ddfire.gov.uk

Headquarters: 0845 305 8383 and ask to speak to HR about RDS recruitment.

Alternatively, visit the service website www.ddfire.gov.uk/can-you-be-retained-firefighter

Ends

*YFA and Fire Cadets groups give young people between the ages of 13 and 17 the opportunity to join a uniformed organisation based on the values and practices of the fire and rescue service.

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