Belfast Telegraph

Women 'particularly welcome' in recruitment drive for community firefighters

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) has launched a recruitment drive for community firefighters across Northern Ireland.

The part-time positions are available in 12 locations across Northern Ireland, with an appeal to those who can respond to calls at their local fire station within five minutes of being called.

The NIFRS has said that the emphasis on female applicants is down to underrepresentation in the service, and that appointments will be made only on merit.

Community firefighters are being recruited for the following stations:

  • Kilrea
  • Cushendall
  • Ballymena
  • Whitehead
  • Carnlough
  • Carryduff
  • Comber
  • Holywood
  • Newtownstewart
  • Dungannon
  • Belleek
  • Lisnaskea

There are close to 1,000 community firefighters in the NIFRS and they generally have other jobs and receive emergency call-outs by beeper.

Community firefighters perform the same duties as full-time staff, which can involve responding to fires, road traffic collisions, specialist service calls such as chemical spills, collapsed buildings and other types of rescue.

Speaking about the recruitment, group commander for NIFRS Brian Stanfield said: "Simply put, NIFRS could not operate without our community firefighters as they provide the emergency fire and rescue services to local towns and villages across Northern Ireland.

"It is an extremely rewarding and interesting job. Community firefighters must be able to quickly respond to emergency call-outs by making their way to the fire station within five minutes, where they will meet the rest of their crew."

He also highlighted the role that local employers play in making their employees available to serve as community firefighters.

Community firefighters are paid a retaining fee, given emergency call-out payments and are paid to attend a two-hour drill once a week.

They are also required to take part in 12 training days each year.

Information sessions will be taking place at stations across the country during September, with aptitude tests in October, interviews in November and a proposed start date of January 2018.

Details on information evenings for the positions can be found on the NIFRS recruitment website.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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