A VILLAGE fire station is in line for a revamp – and the crew based there is on the look-out for new recruits. Seven retained firefighters are currently assigned to the station at Abbots Bromley, which will undergo an internal renovation this year.
Up-to-date equipment for training and keeping fit will be installed at the station and crew members hope this will encourage more people to join their team. Abbots Bromley Community Fire Station is part of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and first opened its doors on July 10, 1965. Before the station was built in Goose Lane, services for the community were run out of some nearby garages.
Now, while the station won’t look greatly different from the outside, a new gym, training room and toilet and shower facilities will make a big difference to the retained firefighters based there. Watch Manager Sara Wilkinson has lived in Abbots Bromley since she was eight years old and has served at the station since joining Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2002.
She said: “It’s going to be more user-friendly for us and more purpose-built. We are going to be able to get more out of the station. There’s going to be a lot more facilities like a gym for us, better toilet and shower areas, and it will help with recruitment too.
“It will be a more effective use of the space. The crew currently have to travel to other gym facilities, so that could be Rugeley, Uttoxeter or Hoar Cross. That’s at least 15 minutes out of the area and they can’t be on call at that time so have to book off to carry out a vital part of their job. “We are now in discussions with a fitness adviser to ensure the equipment meets the needs of the crew and the new station.
“I’m hoping that appliance availability will be better because they will be able to train and keep fit on-station. They won’t need to ‘book off’ to keep fit – a vital part of the role. “There will be better places to store both our clean and dirty kit, a training room and a dedicated watch room. “All in all, it will be a safer environment.”
Station Manager Mark Tattum has recently taken the post – which also includes overseeing the stations at Barton Under Needwood and Uttoxeter – having joined the service in 2000. He can already see the benefits of the station’s forthcoming revamp, while also hoping it will help the station with recruitment, as on-call firefighters are always needed.
He said: “An awful lot of work routines involve administrative tasks – training, online learning etc. Given a nice, modern environment it will no doubt help individuals at the station to perform better. We can only hope that it also encourages individuals within the community to apply to become a part of our team.
“If we can show that the fire service is investing in the community with new facilities then it can only help. For the community, if the service has the best-trained and the most-competent individuals within its fire station that can only help them. Abbots Bromley are still looking for on-call firefighters. Get in touch with us – any firefighters that you know on the station – to get involved.”
For more information on what being an on-call firefighter entails and to speak to somebody about signing up, visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/careers/on-call-firefighters/
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