In 2005 local residents in Lofthouse came together to create a volunteer unit for the village to supplement the response provided by the nearby retained stations. Currently there are six volunteers based at the station.
They do not attend all incident types, however when they are sent to incidents, the nearest standard fire engine also attends. The Land Rover doesn’t carry water, breathing apparatus sets or rescue equipment, and is therefore, very limited in the types of emergency incident it can attend and deal with.
These arrangements have been reliant on sufficient residents coming forward to volunteer and to undertake the initial and ongoing familiarisation training required to operate safely and effectively.
A number of factors mean it is very difficult for the current volunteer crew to commit to maintain the required level of training and availability to respond to incidents and, due to this they have been unavailable to attend incidents for a number of months now. More volunteer firefighters are, therefore, needed for the station.
The Fire Service is asking if you have some spare time available, live or work in the Lofthouse area and would be interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter at Lofthouse, they would love to hear from you.
Volunteer firefighters must be able to respond to the station at Lofthouse within twenty minutes to attend incidents. They must also undertake a number of tests including a fitness test and pass a medical check. Following this they complete a basic training course which is related to the skills they need to perform their role as volunteers, and then complete on-going training once in the role.
Simon Wall of the Fire Brigades Union, said:
Volunteers at stations like Lofthouse are a very important part of the modern Fire and Rescue Service and are integral to the safety of the community in which they serve. As the response times continue to increase, we must strive to keep the volunteers at Lofthouse, recruit more and improve the current level of training and support to ensure they can provide an effective service.
Volunteer firefighters are paid for attending training courses and incidents but are not paid a salary unlike retained firefighters.
If you are interested you can apply on our website http://www.northyorksfire.gov.uk/working-for-us/vacancies_firefighters/retained_on_call_firefighter through the retained firefighter recruitment application form.
Or you can call into a recruitment event at Lofthouse fire station on the 18 November between 10am and 2pm, where you can find out more about the role of volunteer firefighters.
The Fire Service are also recruiting retained firefighters at Grassington, Summerbridge and Masham.