Residents encouraged to become retained firefighters by Havant MP Alan Mak

Residents thinking of giving something back to the community have been encouraged to consider about becoming a retained firefighter by Havant MP Alan Mak.

The MP got behind the call for more volunteer firefighters after a meeting with the Chief Fire Officer for Hampshire Dave Curry at Havant Fire Station.

Without retained firefighters, who are on-call on weekday nights and weekends, the fire service would not be able to respond to emergency calls.

Although they are paid when called out, most do it to give something back to the community in which they live.

Some local full-time firefighters also double up as retained firefighters in the community where they live, acting as on-call volunteers in their free time.

The Havant MP visited the Park Way station to meet local firefighters who not only protect homes from being burnt down, but also deal with road crashes and animal rescues. He also discussed strategic issues with Hampshire’s Chief Fire Officer, who confirmed that local fire provision across the Havant constituency was on a strong footing.

Mr Mak said: “Our brave firefighters who are on-call night and day to keep us safe do a fantastic job. It was good to return to Havant Fire Station to meet staff. They’re commitment and public service ethic reflected the fact both full-time and retained firefighters clearly believed they were doing highly rewarding jobs.

“Whilst the Havant area has good firefighter coverage, the service is always looking to train more firefighters to provide better flexibility, so I encourage anyone looking for a way to give something back to the community to consider becoming a retained firefighter.”

Retained applicants can be male or female and should live or work within four minutes travel time from the Havant, Hayling or Emsworth fire stations, allowing them to respond promptly to emergency calls.

They are expected to attend training sessions one night per week and receive a retaining fee, while additional payments are made for any courses or incidents they attend.

Justin Turner, Station Manager for Havant, Emsworth and Hayling Island, said: “Retained firefighters are a key part of the fire and rescue service in Hampshire and they come from a cross section of our community. They are trained and paid for responding, and do the same job as wholetime firefighters. Being a retained firefighter is not just about attending incidents whenever you’re required. It's about teamwork and helping the local community. We would encourage anyone interested in finding out more to come to one of our drill nights.”

For more information about becoming a retained firefighter visit www.hantsfire.gov.uk or call Justin on 07918 888062 for an informal discussion.

Pictures: Alan Mak MP and Chief Fire Officer Dave Curry with firefighters at Havant Fire Station