Northamptonshire firefighter tackles 999 calls alongside supermarket 'day job' joins national recruitment campaign
County's 200 on-call crew are ready to go as soon as the phone goes
A part-time firefighter who combines answering 999 calls with stacking shelves in a Northamptonshire supermarket is one of the faces of a national campaign to recruit more just like him.
Ashley Hunt is one of Northamptonshire’s 200 on-call firefighters which form a vital part of the county’s firefighting crews.
And to mark the ‘Need More’ campaign to recruit more on-call firefighters — which is being run this week from March 1-7 by the National Fire Chiefs Council — the fire service wants to highlight the opportunities which are open to people from all walks of life.
As well as tackling large scale incidents, Ashley has helped to deliver medication to shielding residents during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yet he fits in time as an on-call firefighter at Wellingborough and Earls Barton while working at his local Morrisons.
He said: “They have an understanding that when I’m at work and I’m on-call, if my alert goes off I’m able to leave.
"They are really supportive of what I do and the skills I bring back to Morrisons.
"As long as you pre-plan and have good communication with your employer and the fire service, you can make it work.”
Working as an on-call firefighter means being involved in a wide range of activities in your local area from responding to emergency calls, to carrying out work in local communities to support their needs or providing prevention advice to help keep them safe.
Keri Worrall joined Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service after seeing an advert as part of the national campaign last year and also features heavily in the NFCC recruitment advertisements for 2021.
She combines the role at Guilsborough Fire Station with her job in the leisure industry and saw it as an opportunity to use her passion for working with people.
Keri said: “Working in the industry I did, I realised one of my passions was to help people.
"I drove past one of the on-call stations, saw the poster and went online to do more research and applied through the website.
“Being an on-call firefighter makes me feel brilliant. If someone asked me about joining the Fire Service, I would say go for it! It’s an amazing job.”
The fire service can offer flexible work to fit around study, work and family commitments, first class training and development opportunities and a chance to make a difference in your local community.
Working in the fire service means you can earn extra money and receive full and ongoing training so you develop a broad range of transferable work and life skills.
Scott Hirons, station manager at Wellingborough and Irthlingborough fire stations is Northamptonshire's on-call recruitment manager.
He said: “On-call firefighters are a fundamental part of the service, working together alongside our Whole Time Crews to ensure the safety of the communities we serve. If you join you would become part of a close-knit team that learns new skills and builds relationships in helping to support our communities and keep them safe.
“We would urge anyone who thinks they might be interested to get in touch. On-call firefighters have really made a difference during the pandemic, and we would love to see the numbers we have grow.”
■ If you are interested in becoming an on-call firefighter, visit www.oncallfire.uk to find out more and get in touch with Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue at any time of the year.