A DRIVE has been started to recruit more on-call firefighters in south Wiltshire.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service needs new recruits to provide fire cover at locations across Wiltshire, but particularly in Amesbury.

Amesbury Fire Station is holding "have a go" events on Wednesday, January 16, 6.30pm, and Thursday 17, 7pm-9pm, for those interested in finding out more about the role.

An on-call firefighter is someone who responds to a range of fire and rescue service jobs, ranging from emergency calls, working at open days, carrying out work with their local communities and acting as an ambassador for the fire service.

On-call support officer Vicki Brewis said: “The easiest way to see if being a firefighter is for you is to come along, have a chat with the crew and try your hand at different things. There will be opportunity try on breathing apparatus, climb a ladder and do the national firefighter selection test for carrying equipment.”

Contracted hours can vary, but on-call personnel usually make themselves available for between 90 and 120 hours per week. Between them, each fire station team will provide cover for weekdays, evenings, nights and weekends.

She added: “On-call firefighters receive the same training and development as wholetime colleagues, and we can be called to all manner of emergencies, including fires, road traffic collisions, animal rescues and flooding. The pay does vary, depending on how much cover you give, but it is fantastically rewarding to be a part of your community and to be in a position to help people.”

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is working with the National Fire Chiefs Council as part of a national campaign encouraging people to become on-call firefighters.

The "Need More" awareness week started on Monday to highlight opportunities available in the fire and rescue service.

Group manager Andy Cole said: “On-call firefighters are an integral part of our service and community. We are keen to encourage anyone with the right skills to find out about what they can offer us - and in return, what we can offer you.”

To find out more go to dwfire.org.uk/be-one-of-us