FIRE chiefs have put out a call for retained firefighters to help provide vital cover in three areas of the Borders.
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service says staff are needed to man the engines in Newcastleton, Coldstream and Duns.
Retained – or part time – crews provide the majority of cover across the Borders. There are 12 fire stations across the Borders but only Galashiels and Hawick have full time, 24/7 crews and these two, too, have retained back up.
The emergency service – which has its operational HQ in Edinburgh – has confirmed it now recruiting for three locations in the Borders as well Livingston and Dunbar.
A spokeswoman for the service told us: “Our retained firefighters provide a vital service to the communities they live in, providing fire cover to smaller, often rural, towns within Lothian and Borders.
“Retained firefighters are not based in a fire station at all times, but may be at home or working locally as shopkeepers, plumbers, typists, builders – the list is endless.
“Working with a pager, when the call comes, a retained firefighter must be able to drop what they are doing and get to the fire station within minutes. Dealing with emergency incidents is vital and firefighters can often make a life-saving difference.
“But firefighters today have an equally important role within the area of community safety, in which retained firefighters are extensively involved. We recognise that the best way to fight fires is to prevent them ever starting.
“This aim is achieved in a variety of ways, but is primarily focused on educating and informing the public about how best they can reduce the risk of having a fire in their home. A firefighter is expected to support initiatives in youth and community groups. Another element of this community safety work is delivering home safety visits in local communities, advising people on potential hazards, how to minimise risks and fitting smoke alarms when necessary.”
The spokeswoman said applicants required an excellent level of fitness, must live within five minutes of one of their stations and be able to provide at least 80 hours of cover per week, ideally including weekday cover but also evenings and weekends.
Anyone interested can use the following link to apply for this post: www.mjs.jobs/frjobs