Date: 27th May, 2022
Sodexo has received an award from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service in recognition of its support to on-call firefighters.
The facilities management company, which looks after Weymouth police station, allows one of its on-site maintenance engineers to respond to fire calls during the day.
The presentation was made at the Service’s annual awards ceremony on 12 May by Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell and Andy Kerr, Principal Client Director and Sector Lead at SSS Public Safety, who sponsored the award.
Mr Kerr said: “SSS Public Safety are honoured to have been able to support such a wonderful celebration at this year’s awards ceremony, to pay tribute to the firefighters and staff across the Service and to thank the local employers for allowing their staff to be released from duties to attend fire calls.”
Crew Manager Chris Newman was already an on-call firefighter at Weymouth when he started working for Sodexo last year, and he nominated his boss, Verity Finch, for recognition.
Group Manager Charlie Pack, who manages the Dorset area fire stations, said: “When Chris joined Sodexo, they made allowance for his role as an on-call firefighter and created the flexibility needed to enable him to attend emergency calls while at work, and to take leave for training courses as and when required. I’m delighted that Sodexo’s support has been recognised with this award, and I would encourage other employers to consider supporting their staff to be on-call firefighters if they have a fire station recruiting nearby.”
He added: “If someone is interested in becoming an on-call firefighter, they need to look at our website to see whether there’s an on-call fire station near to where they live or work, then get in touch with us to have a chat about what’s possible. The main things are that people are enthusiastic, want to work as part of a team, and want to be part of their community.”
Working as an on-call firefighter means being involved in a wide range of activities in your local area, including responding to emergency calls, carrying out work in local communities to support their needs and providing prevention advice to help keep people safe.
In return, the fire and rescue service offers flexible work to fit around study, other employment and/or family commitments; first class training and development opportunities; additional income; and a chance to make a difference.
Applicants need to:
- Be at least 18 years old when they join (you can apply once you are 17½);
- Live or work near the fire station so they can respond quickly;
- Have a good standard of physical fitness – and the Service can provide advice on what is needed;
- Have the right to work in the UK; and
- Be willing to work as part of a team.
For more information about being an on-call firefighter with Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, visit www.dwfire.org.uk/on-call-firefighters