Volunteers Sought To Support Local Firefighters

on call firefightersThe local fire service recently visited businesses in the village to request volunteers to help with local fire emergencies. Great Baddow fire station is currently day manned, but soon they will be closing to become an on-call only station. This means that in the case of an emergency, firefighters and local volunteers will be called to attend the station. Essex Fire Service needs you!

From Day-Crewed to On-call

Great Baddow fire station is currently a day-crewed station, meaning they have firefighters in the fire station during the day Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm, outside of those times firefighters respond when alerted by pager. However, they’re converting to an on-call station and are currently recruiting on-call firefighters at Great Baddow Station.

Find out more at our station. There’s no need to book, just turn up anytime during a session:

Saturday 28 October, 10am – 4pm, during the annual open day.
Saturday 18 November, 10am – 1pm.

What is an on-call firefighter?

On-call firefighters protect their local area by responding to incidents such as fires and road traffic collisions as well as community safety work.

You’ll need to live or work within five minutes of an on-call fire station so that you can respond quickly when paged. You’ll also need to be over 18 years of age and physically fit. Find out more about on-call firefighters.

Helping to educate and advise the locality concerning fire prevention

A very real need for volunteers to support the work of the Essex fire service has been identified in the Great Baddow and Chelmsford districts and other areas of the county. These parish safety volunteer roles are focused on helping spread the word concerning fire prevention and home security, along with building links with the local Great Baddow and district community.

Retained fire-fighters – people who augment the full time fire service employees part time – are also helping spread the word about fire safety in local communities.

The volunteer role

The old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ is certainly true regarding fire safety. Essex fire services and those in the UK generally are committed to doing what they can to educate their community in terms of how to prevent fires, and teach the basic steps to be taken when they do start.

Parish safety volunteers

To achieve this the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and Essex Police are collaborating to promote fire safety and home security by educating people through parish safety volunteers working in their own local communities. These people, from various backgrounds and age groups, visit people in their homes and conduct talks for groups covering aspects such as:

  • Fire prevention
  • Installing fire detection equipment such as smoke alarms
  • Crime prevention including advice on locks and security measures
  • Where and how to obtain further advice

Retained firefighters also helping to educate

Retained firefighters are required in greater numbers as some fire services are scaling back on certain facilities such as manned fire stations and instead using ‘on demand’ personnel, particularly in more remote and rural areas.

There are some 18,000 retained fire personnel currently active in the UK, and some of them are deployed to help educate their local communities regarding fire prevention similar to parish safety officers.

A retained firefighter’s activities in community fire safety education may be more in the areas of visiting local schools and organisations to discuss fire prevention. For example, when visiting a school or community facility such as a village hall, they may discuss matters such as the use of safety signage such as fire equipment signs and what they tell you about the type of fire extinguishers that are in use.

Helping strengthen communities

Many parishes in Essex, such as Great Baddow, have their share of people living alone who would benefit from help and advice to be safer in their homes. The support from parish safety volunteers can help alleviate social isolation and ensure up to the minute information is available to all.

Who is suitable to be a parish safety volunteer?

In short, many who enjoy meeting new people and are interested in contributing to their community would be ideal candidates. The Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has a webpage with more information and details on how to apply to be a parish safety volunteer.

Further details on the role and how to apply to be a retained firefighter can be found here.

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