MIDHURST fire station has welcomed their newest recruit.
Having completed his basic training, 22-year-old Matthew Seymour from Midhurst is now a fully operational retained duty system firefighter.
The rest of his working week is spent as a labourer, and he will now cover evenings, weekends and early mornings at Midhurst Fire Station.
Matthew said: “When I saw the advertisement for this position, I thought, ‘wow, what a job’.
“I joined to work for the local area, make a difference and potentially save lives.
“This is the kind of job you dream about as a kid. At MADhurst, children were coming up to us, asking to try on our helmets.”
Eight new retained firefighters have been welcomed into the service by West Sussex Fire & Rescue.
They have completed their initial training course and now have the essential knowledge and skills to join their colleagues at retained fire stations around the county.
Retained firefighters are ‘on call’ for the fire service, meaning they are usually employed elsewhere or are at home when they receive a pager alert, but are ready to spring into immediate action to deal with a 999 incident.
They receive regular training in firefighting, rescue and extrication techniques equipping them with the skills to deal with fires, road traffic accidents and a wide range of other emergencies, enabling them to save lives in their local community.
Retained firefighters fully crew 14 of the 25 fire stations in West Sussex and are vital to the delivery of the county’s fire and rescue service.
The new firefighters were presented with their certificates by Assistant Chief Fire Officer for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Neil Stocker.
“Congratulations to our new recruits who will now be joining retained colleagues at fire stations all around the county,” he said.
“Retained firefighters make such a valuable contribution to their local communities and our fire service couldn’t operate without their dedication and commitment.”
Having already attended a number of call-outs, Matthew hopes his role will eventually become a full-time position.
He said: “I have a little boy and now he can really look up to me.”