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Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue puts out appeal for new firefighters after calling in Spalding and Long Sutton crews to Holbeach incident

A building fire has highlighted the need to find new recruits for fire stations across the county.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue has confirmed that it had insufficient firefighters at its Holbeach station to attend a blaze in Toll Lane on Wednesday last week so it had to send crews based in Spalding and Long Sutton.

Holbeach, like many rural fire stations in the county, has been running a recruitment campaign in recent months to help attract new retained officers to help protect the area’s residents and properties.

Holbeach fire engine
Holbeach fire engine

In previous years, fire stations had a waiting list of people wanting to get on the rung but sadly this is no longer the case - possibly due to the pressures of work commitments and modern living.

Leaders of the fire service have stressed that they have a good response to incidents in the county but have once again put out a call for new recruits to join up.

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Helen Gridley, Divisional Commander for South Division at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Our fire crews work as a big team covering the whole of the county. It’s unusual that we have availability of every single appliance at every station at any given time, but we work hard to strategically locate fire appliances and resources where they’re most needed. This gives a good response across the county when people need us and also means we can cover longer incidents effectively.

John Kinder and his team at Holbeach Fire Station
John Kinder and his team at Holbeach Fire Station

“That said, many of our rural fire stations are actively looking to recruit more On Call firefighters, to increase availability. It’s definitely a commitment and takes real dedication, but is also incredibly rewarding.

“The role is not full time, therefore you can make yourself available to respond to incidents in and around your primary employment and family commitments. Some of our On Call firefighters have an agreement with their employees to respond to emergency calls whilst at work, others make themselves available whilst their children are at school, some give cover whilst working from home and others manage full time employment alongside their fire service commitment.

“You can find out more about all aspects of the role at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr.”

Members of the Holbeach Fire Station
Members of the Holbeach Fire Station

Long Sutton and Spalding firefighters were called to a property in Toll Lane, Holbeach, at 10.22am on Wednesday, February 20, last week when they used a hose reel jet.

Last year, this website was given a tour behind the scenes at Holbeach Fire Station as the nine-strong team looked to find an additional three or four officers.

Along with attending crashes and property fires, the team at Holbeach are flood specialists. They have been called out to incidents around the county to help support communities which have been hit by flooding brought by the storms which have ravaged the area in recent months.

Holbeach Watch Manager John Kinder has issued an invitation to potential recruits and their employers to learn more about what is involved.

He said: “Any employers who have got staff they feel are interested in can contact me at the fire station to find out what the job entails.

“Anyone who is interested is welcome to come down to the fire station on a Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm.

“I am happy to speak to employers.”

Would you be willing to volunteer as a firefighter? Post a comment below.

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