Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Fire service seeks female recruits

Only 21 women work in a group of almost 1,000 part-time firefighters in Northern Ireland

The fire service in Northern Ireland is appealing for more women as part of a fresh recruitment drive.

Only 21 women work in a group of almost 1,000 part-time firefighters. Recruits from ethnic minority communities are also in demand as 37 stations search for more people, a fire service spokeswoman said.

Chris Kerr, chief fire officer, said part-timers made up more than half the total number of firefighters in Northern Ireland.

"Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) could not operate without our retained firefighters as they provide the emergency fire and rescue services to the communities in which they live and work," he said.

Fire stations across Northern Ireland are seeking recruits and it is anticipated they will be appointed by October.

Mr Kerr added: "It is an extremely rewarding and interesting job and retained firefighters must be able to quickly respond to emergency call outs by making their way to their local fire station within five minutes."

They respond to emergencies including fires, traffic collisions and chemical spills.

The service employs 895 full-time firefighters, of whom 27 are female, and 955 part-time, of whom 21 are women.

Information nights are being held at fire stations.

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