Businesses with on-call firefighters deserve 'badge of honour'
"We rely heavily on our on-call teams, so the support of these businesses is vital to us. Any employer who releases staff in this way is making a massive support to their community."
Businesses which employ on-call firefighters have been thanked for their "massive contribution" towards ensuring that communities throughout Warwickshire are kept safe.
Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service's full-time firefighters are supported by around 140 on-call colleagues who carry pagers and ready to respond within five minutes in case of emergency to their local Fire Station.
Many on-call firefighters work for companies which accept that there will be occasions when this employee has to leave at short notice. As the on-call men and women are integral to delivery of the vital service, the co-operation of those businesses is hugely appreciated, says WFRS On-call Support Officer, Paul Whitaker.
"On-call firefighters are the backbone of the service," Paul said.
"We rely heavily on our on-call teams, so the support of these businesses is vital to us. Any employer who releases staff in this way is making a massive support to their community.
"We invite businesses to our annual awards ceremony as a thank you, but really they wear a badge of honour at all times. We find that employers are proud to have an on-call firefighter working for them."
WFRS is currently looking to add to its team of on-call firefighters at its 12 stations around the county. The kudos to a business of having an on-call firefighter on the staff is considerable, but the inconvenience is not, according to Peter Bell, who first joined Stratford station as on-call, before becoming a whole-timer.
"There is a lot of flexibility," said Peter, who is now Response Support Officer for Bidford, Stratford and Shipston.
"We work with the employers to arrange what works best for everybody. On-call officers are not on call all the time, just on their shifts, and even then other crew members might be available so that employee might not be needed. They are just there for emergencies so it can have very little impact upon the employer."
The impact is, in fact, only positive as the business finds itself with a more highly-qualified employee.
"The firefighters' role is so important that on-call firefighters are trained to a high level," said Paul. " We train the employee to a high standard and give the employer back someone who is highly motivated and highly trained whether that's advanced first aid training specifically dealing with trauma, driver training or supervisory management courses."
* Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is recruiting for on-call firefighters across the county, especially in Fenny Compton and Shipston-on-Stour. If any business would like to learn more about on-call and the benefits of having an on-call on their books, they are very welcome to contact the service for advice. For more details, please visit: https://bit.ly/OnCallWarwickshire