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Ross backs Cullen fire station recruitment drive


By Alan Beresford

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A LOCAL retained fire station's bid to recruit more fresh faces has been backed by Moray's MP.

Douglas Ross has thrown his weight behind the appeal for more people in the Cullen area to join the village's retained firefighting crew.

He said: “The fire station in Cullen has been operational since 1971 and is crewed by firefighters who are on-call to respond at a moment’s notice.

"As well as attending emergencies, the firefighters also play an incredibly important role in the local community by providing safety advice to people in their homes. Every year they also visit the local primary schools to teach children about CPR, equipping them with this vital life-saving skill.

“When I chaired the first Police and Fire Committee on Moray Council I remember supporting efforts then to recruit new people to the station and that continues today. It is a vital station and I hope the team get a positive response to their call for new recruits.

“The station needs additional volunteers so that they can continue to provide the local community with the service they need and deserve.”

The station which has been in the town since 1971 is crewed by firefighters who are on-call and respond at a moment’s notice via a pager system.

Watch Commander Simon Tucker has been protecting the community and surrounding areas for 19 years after signing up at the age of 25.

He said: “This is the best job in the world – that’s the best way I can describe it because it develops and challenges you but with full support.

“One of my favourite parts of the job is being able to go into the community, meet new people and help by giving some safety advice.

“Every year we go into the local primary schools and demonstrate CPR with the kids so that they are equipped with the skills to assist a cardiac arrest where seconds are precious until the arrival of paramedics.

“It is always a date I look forward to – and it is amazing to see how much the kids remember.“We’re here and want to help the community – but we need more firefighters to ensure we are always there when local residents need us most.”

John Jappy is the Crew Commander at the station and has been a retained firefighter for 16 years; in his primary employment he works as roughcaster and plasterer.

He said: “The job can give so much, with some people it’s just something different outside a normal office job or with others it really enhances their practical skills that normally they wouldn’t possess.”

Retained firefighters are paid on a call out basis and crews use a text based system to inform the SFRS control rooms of their availability.

Watch Commander Tucker added: “It’s a family - when your pager goes you’re leaving one family to go to another and it’s fostered a lot of great friendships between our children and partners."

Retained firefighters are paid on a call-out basis and any residents in the Cullen area who might be interested in joining Scottish Fire and Rescue can visit the 'work with us. section on www.firescotland.gov.uk or contact Cullen fire station.

More information about the fire station is available on its Facebook page.

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