Suffolk: Call goes out for new recruits to become on-call firefighters

Woodbridge Fire Station is appealing for more people to become retainer fire fighters.
Watch Comman

Woodbridge Fire Station is appealing for more people to become retainer fire fighters. Watch Commander Adrian Mason and Fire Fighter Julian Warth. - Credit: Archant

FIRE crews in Suffolk are looking for potential lifesavers, ready to help protect their community and respond to emergencies.

The service is hoping to find new recruits to join on-call teams at stations across the county.

No previous experience of firefighting is required. Ideal candidates just need to be over 18, have a good level of fitness and strength, and live or work within a four- minute response time of their local station.

There is currently a nationwide shortage of on-call firefighters – formerly known as retained firefighters – and Suffolk is no different from the rest of the country.

But the crew at Woodbridge station can guarantee that the role is rewarding and worthwhile.

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Among them are firefighter Julian Warth and watch commander Adrian Mason, who said: “Being an on-call firefighter gives you the chance to help people in your community and learn new skills. The job satisfaction is immense.

“I’ve been in the job for 23 years and it has become harder to find recruits due to the way work commitments have changed in smaller towns.”

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The opportunity to become a paid on-call firefighter is open to men or women who have what it takes potentially to save lives in fire, flood and road traffic emergencies.

After basic written and practical assessments, full weekly training will be given to equip firefighters for the job of providing cover while at work or at home.

Russell Punchard, Suffolk’s on-call firefighters liaison officer, said: “Many people see firefighting as a career and assume stations are always occupied by a crew - but there are 28 stations in Suffolk that are solely maintained by on-call crews.

“Some people don’t realise they are viable to provide a vital service for their community. It’s not a closed door.”

To register an interest in becoming an on-call firefighter, visit For an informal discussion, call Russell Punchard on 01473 260588.

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