Firefighter shortage worries

Oxfordshire's Fire Service are worried they may soon be unable to get to some 999 calls quickly enough because of a shortage of part-time crews.

Retained firefighters respond to calls alongside their day job, and there aren't enough in places like Woodstock, Bampton and Goring.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue say the shortage isn't causing a big problem at the moment, but things are likely to get worse over the next five years as firefighters retire.

It could mean crews have to be brought in from other fire stations to make sure an area has enough firefighter cover, which will have a knock-on effect across Oxfordshire.

The Fire Service are trying to recruit more people to become retained firefighters to plug the gap - especially in the Woodstock area.  You'll be given a pager which will beep when you're called in to fight a fire, and you'll also have to attend two hours' training every week, but other than that you're able to work full-time in your regular job.

Woodstock Station Manager John Fathers said: "Whether you're a mum looking to go back to work, a shift worker, self-employed, we'd like to hear from you.  If you're aged between 18 and 55 and reasonably fit and in good health you could make up the retained team at Woodstock."

If you're interested in becoming a retained firefighter - in Woodstock or elsewhere in Oxfordshire - you can call the recruitment hotline on 0800 587 0870.