A senior Angus fire officer has highlighted the importance of retained firefighters to rural communities following work to tackle the havoc caused by Storm Gertrude last week.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s ability to react effectively to severe weather incidents such as the storms which have battered the north this winter depends on the commitment of retained firefighters, who help keep the communities in which they live safe.
The latest phase of recruitment for new (retained duty system) RDS firefighters opens today (February 1) and Group Manager for Angus, Billy McLintock, is encouraging people to support their communities by signing up to join the service.
There are a number of vacancies available across Angus including: Arbroath, Montrose, Brechin, Forfar, and Kirriemuir.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is encouraging men and women across Angus to apply to become RDS (retained duty system) firefighters.
Becoming an RDS firefighter brings with it a tremendous sense of satisfaction and gives ordinary people an opportunity to do extraordinary work, helping protect communities from fire and saving lives and the environment.
RDS firefighters come from diverse backgrounds and bring a variety of experiences to the role. A range of skills are required including being a team player, having excellent communication skills and displaying attention to detail.
You must be aged 18 years or over, have a good level of physical fitness, have the required standard of vision and colour perception and live or work within five to eight minutes of the fire station.
Group Manager for Angus, Billy McLintock, said: “With storms becoming more frequent and the damage they cause more serious the need for new retained firefighters has never been greater.
“It is immensely satisfying to know you have the skills to help keep people in the town or village you live in safe and I would urge anyone who feels they can help to get in touch.
“The services ability to support community resilience means we rely on people from the community coming forward to join the retained duty system.
“RDS firefighters can also be called upon to work with whole time firelighters to promote fire safety messages, giving fire safety advice to schools and other organisations as well as carrying out free home fire risk assessments within their communities.
“It is a very rewarding job and there are tangible benefits for employers who support and allow their staff to become RDS firefighters. Retained=retrained and employers will have a member of staff who will bring a host of transferable skills.”
GM McLintock is thankful to those employers who already support those members of staff who are retained firefighters and he is calling on other local businesses and employers to consider supporting their staff by allowing them to sign up.
He continued: “Employing a retained firefighter brings a whole new range of skills and experience to your workplace as well as contributing to making your local community safer for those who live, work and come to visit.
“We currently have vacancies at a number of our stations in Angus and we are really keen to meet you to discuss and explore recruitment opportunities as well as to discuss the range of skills and training you can receive once you join.”
In return RDS firefighters are paid an annual retainer fee plus additional payments for every incident attended and time spent on all activity including training nights, community engagement and courses.
You will need to demonstrate that you have the potential to carry out this challenging role through a rigorous recruitment process. Visit SFRS website to find out more.