Fire service launches first recruitment drive in eight years
PUBLISHED: 14:00 27 April 2017
A recruitment drive has been launched by Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) – just weeks after the redundancy of a specialist firefighter crew in Weston was confirmed.
AF&RS has this week revealed plans to recruit new full-time firefighters for the first time in eight years.
Aspiring firefighters have been given until Tuesday to apply for roles which service bosses say will go to the ‘best and brightest’ candidates.
However, this recruitment push comes just weeks after 49 firefighter redundancies were confirmed amid plans to meet a £5million budget shortfall. That included 12 specialist firefighters who manned a ladder appliance at Weston Fire Station.
That means AF&RS now employs 455 full-time firefighters, but that number has been falling since 2010 – and any further reduction would take the service ‘below its minimum crewing levels’.
Applications are being invited from across North Somerset and beyond for the 16 new roles, which could land successful applicants £29,000 a year once trained.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Simon Shilton said: “This is a rare and exciting opportunity to join a fantastic organisation and begin a wonderful career.
“This is now a role where you can save a life in so many different ways, from helping someone at a road traffic collision or other emergency to providing education in homes, schools and workplaces.”
Women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds are enouraged to apply, as each category accounts for less than five per cent of the firefighter total.
ACFO Shilton added: “It’s really important our workforce is representative of the communities we serve.
“We will be taking steps to raise awareness of firefighting as a career among under-represented groups as we want the very best people to be our next generation of firefighters.
“It’s about ensuring the pool of talent we have to choose from is as wide as possible.”
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