Strict health and safety measures in place for training newly recruited on-call firefighters
17 June 2020
Twelve newly-recruited on-call firefighters have started their training at Bowthorpe Training Centre to help keep Norfolk as safe as possible.
In line with Government guidelines on Covid-19, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) has put strict health and safety measures in place to protect staff, new recruits and the wider community and to ensure the two-week training course can go ahead.
Stuart Ruff, Chief Fire Officer, said: “Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, protecting Norfolk, the public and our staff remains our top priority and we continue to run a fully operational fire and rescue service. To do this, we need to maintain staffing levels across the county which is why we are continuing to recruit and train new on-call firefighters.
“In order to run the course we have done full risk assessments and have strict control measures in place at the training centre. I am very grateful to our staff for their commitment to keeping our communities safe, their willingness to work flexibly and for the speed in which they have adapted to the challenges created by the Covid crisis.
“I warmly welcome our new firefighters into the service family and wish them all the best with their training.”
Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council's Communities Committee, said: “Of Norfolk’s 42 fire stations, 39 rely on on-call staff, either fully or in part. Our on-call firefighters play a crucial role in keeping their communities safe and I am delighted the service has put these rigorous measures in place to ensure they can undertake their initial training. I wish them all every success.”
Health and safety measures put in place at Bowthorpe training centre include:
- Checking in with each person daily to see if they or a family member has signs or symptoms of Covid-19
- Temperature checks every day on arrival – with individuals staying in their car and being collected
- Regularly disinfecting training rooms
- Observing 2 metre ‘bubble’s in lecture room – for staff and recruits
- Visiting the canteen individually
- Staff to wear PPE during practical training in the drill yard when social distancing cannot be maintained
On successful completion of their two-week training, the new on-call firefighters will be stationed across Norfolk where they will continue on the job training for 12 months.
On-call fire fighters must live or work within five minutes of a retained fire station and are called upon when there is an incident in their area.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service runs regular training courses for on-call firefighters. If you are interested in becoming part of the fire service family, please check www.norfolk.gov.uk/fire for the latest vacancies.