Thorney Fire Station has two new on-call firefighters, bringing the team up to eight people, but they are still looking for more.
The new recruits are Dez Larty (27) who lives on English Drove and Thomas Bingley (26) of Topham Crescent.
The two men have just completed their training and are now ready to take their place on the engine.
It’s great news for the village Fire Station, as the last new recruit joined way back in 2009, and means that more much-needed cover can be provided.
“Ideally, we’d like to get the number up to 12 people,” said Station Commander Gavin Hammond. “If we could find people able to respond during the day, it would be great news.”
Thorney Fire Station is crewed by on-call firefighters. These are people with regular jobs, who make themselves available to answer emergencies for a set number of hours a week. They are paid a retainer for being available and also a call-out fee.
“Anyone aged over 18 is eligible,” said Gavin, “and you can apply at 17. There’s no upper age limit provided you are fit enough and women are just as capable of doing the job as men.”
Dez, who works as a tree surgeon, is used to heights and ladders, but he says the training covers everything you need to stay safe and do the job. He’s lived in Thorney for four years and was persuaded to come forward by his brother-in-law who is also a fireman.
Thomas also has a family connection to the fire service – his uncle was an on-call fireman in Whittlesey for over 30 years.
The Thorney team responds to emergencies across the Fens and into Peterborough and may be called upon to fight fires, rescue animals or cut people free after traffic accidents.
If you are interested in finding out more about being an on-call firefighter, you can call Gavin on 01480 444500 or come along to Thorney’s drill night which is Tuesdays from 7pm to 9pm. There’s also a website http://www.cambsfire.gov.uk (go to careers and select on-call firefighter) and an e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org where you can get more information.
The Thorney team (below) left to right: Steven Lloyd, Colin Bartlett, Ben Purdy, Chris Hudson, Dez Lartey, Gavin Hammond, Tom Bingley, Garreth Horrocks.