Ottery fire service in new recruit plea

OTTERY S fire-fighters are on the look-out for new recruits to help boost residents' safety.

OTTERY'S fire-fighters are on the look-out for new recruits to help boost residents' safety.

The town's fire service, which is made up of 11 retained crew members whose day jobs range from teachers to lorry drivers and company directors, is on the lookout for new members to bolster its 24-hour, seven day-a-week coverage.

Station commander Gary Shaw wants to raise the service's profile in Ottery and change perceptions over who can apply to join the team.

"It's a big misconception you have to be a large, rough tough bloke- we have female fire fighters who are very good- no reason they can't get the same job satisfaction.

"We are struggling for day-time cover, There are occasions when we don't have enough crew to man the rig- we need a minimum of four and a maximum of six. Six is obviously better- many hands make light work.

"There is quite a rigorous process to ensure we are getting the right people. That said people shouldn't be discouraged from applying- anybody can do it- we would welcome applications from all and every background- the only requisite is you have to live within 7.5 minutes of the station- preferably closer."

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"I think for too long people have driven past this place without really taking notice of what it is."

"We don't just squirt water on fires, we deal with car crashes, floods, animal rescues and anything that comes our way. We are often the first and last port of call for many people."

Crew members, who worked a 20-hour shift in last year's freak floods, will host a road-safety themed community involvement day next Saturday, March 28.

To apply to join the Ottery Fire Service, call (01392) 872346.