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South Woodham Ferrers Fire Station converts to an on-call fire station

South Woodham Ferrers Fire Station has taken its next step to becoming an on-call fire station, thanks to the support of the local community who have applied to join the team and the commitment of the staff at the station.

As of today (1 August) it will become an on-call fire station, meaning firefighters - who all live or work within five minutes of the fire station - will respond from home or work at all times. They never know what they could be called to, it could be a fire, a road traffic collision or even an animal rescue. It could be a call in South Woodham Ferrers or it could be to assist crews further afield.

A number of wholetime firefighters will also support the fire station’s transition while some of the station's newer on-call firefighters continue their training. 

Station Manager Dan Wastell said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has applied to join our team and to our firefighters that have been supporting their community in South Woodham Ferrers for a number of years. We’ve got a great team of eight on-call firefighters with another five in the pipeline to join us throughout the year.

“Our on-call firefighters in Essex are a huge part of our Service and their commitment to their communities helps to make Essex a safer place to live, work and travel. They are all competent firefighters who are paid to protect their community. We’re grateful for their support as well as support from their families and employers.

“The transition from a day-crewed duty system to an on-call duty system wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our local community - you are the ones who have applied to become on-call firefighters and are playing your part in protecting your community.

“We’re still recruiting on-call firefighters. If you live or work within 5 minutes of our fire station, you could be paid to protect your community as an on-call firefighter. If you’re interested, visit: join.essex-fire.gov.uk/on-call.

“We also have a number of volunteer roles in our Home Fire Safety team at South Woodham Ferrers Fire Station. Visit: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/volunteering.”

South Woodham Ferrers Fire Station is one of four fire stations that has converted from day-crewed to on-call in the last two years after successful conversions in Dovercourt, Great Baddow and Waltham Abbey.

The station is one of four fire stations in the Dengie Peninsula with on-call firefighters committed to supporting their communities. Burnham-on-Crouch Fire Station is a key station in Essex County Fire and Rescue Service meaning that if Burnham’s firefighters are called to another incident or training, another crew will be brought into the fire station ready to respond to incidents in the area.

South Woodham Ferrers Fire Station isn’t just a fire station. It is home to firefighters, the Home Fire Safety Team and the Road Traffic Collision Reduction Team. The station is also a central hub for different teams in ECFRS to host meetings and your town plays a big part in helping to train new on-call firefighters in Essex.

In 2022, the Breathing Apparatus training building was upgraded to allow the Service to hold on-call firefighter training sessions at South Woodham Ferrers Fire Station. South Woodham Ferrers’ very first training course was held in March 20202 and the Service hopes to host some of Essex’s new on-call firefighters later this year and in 2023.

Around 75% of fire stations in Essex are crewed by on-call firefighters; people who live or work within five minutes of the fire station. They respond when they are called to an incident and are paid for the time they give.

Are you interested in becoming an on-call firefighter? Visit join.essex-fire.gov.uk/on-call/

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