West Sussex Fire &and Rescue Service has welcomed six more retained (on-call) firefighters to its ranks, after they successfully completed their two week initial training course.
The new recruits, including one for Bognor Regis and one to Chichester, will now join retained crews in their communities across the county to provide additional fire and rescue capability.
Retained firefighters often have full-time jobs elsewhere, but live or work within close proximity to a fire station, and are paged to respond to emergencies as and when they are required.
Assistant chief fire officer Jon Lacey, who began his career with the service as a retained firefighter, met the new recruits at Horley Fire Station, where they took part in a pass-out parade in front of friends and family.
He said: “Becoming a retained firefighter takes real determination and drive, and each of our new recruits have demonstrated that they have what it takes to help keep their communities safe.
“Over the next two years they will continue to develop their skills and build on what they have learned over the last two weeks, with a number of training opportunities open to them.
“It was a real privilege for me to welcome our new retained firefighters to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
“Their pass-out came ahead of what was a very busy weekend for the service, with our retained fire crews based at East Wittering, Billingshurst and Midhurst fire stations kept very busy in the wake of Storm Dennis, which led to severe flooding in parts of the county.
“They were on hand to respond to a number of serious incidents where residents had become trapped by floodwater, but they able to get them to a place of safety.
“I do not underestimate the work our retained firefighters carry out, and I know our new recruits are all going to make a real difference to the communities they will serve, and I wish them all the very best of luck.”
The new recruits included Jonathon Loe, who will be based at Chichester, and William Middleton, at Bognor Regis.