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14/07/2011: Working together for safer communities

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has thanked a number of companies, including Electricity North West, for allowing staff to act as retained firefighters in the region.

75 per cent of fire stations in Lancashire are crewed wholly or to some extent by retained firefighters – those who typically have full-time employment in another profession but who provide emergency cover as firefighters, responding to a summons on a pager.

Without that commitment from the men and women who provide this vital service and the willingness of their employers to allow them to respond at a moment’s notice to a 999 call, the extent and calibre of Fire and Rescue emergency cover that exists in Lancashire would be impossible to maintain.

Carnforth Fire Station hosted a get-together this week to thank the 28 companies who between them employ people who help provide firefighter cover at Carnforth, Silverdale, Hornby, and Morecambe Fire Stations. Handing out certificates to mark the occasion and their contribution to the communities they support, Lancashire’s Chief Fire Officer said:

“Simply, we couldn’t provide the service we do in Lancashire without our retained firefighter teams, or without your support.

“It is an enormous and much appreciated commitment to our communities that you and they give. An extensive moorland fire in Belmont near Chorley in May demanded the resources of 1000 firefighters over the course of the week the fire continued to burn. Many of those attending in around-the-clock shifts were retained firefighters, including those from ‘your’ fire station teams.

“It was an exceptional situation and you and those teams rose to the challenge in an exceptional way, for which you have my sincere thanks and without question, the gratitude of the people of Lancashire.”

Electricity North West’s Human Resources Director, Paul Taylor, said: “We’re delighted to support employees who are willing to give something back to their local communities through volunteering.

“We’re proud of the people who work for us and are glad to see that a willingness to go the extra mile is part and parcel of their approach to their work in general.

“Many of the skills learned volunteering for organisations like the Fire and Rescue Service are beneficial to our organisation and vice versa, so both organisations and the local community benefit.”

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