April 14, 2022 10.44 am This story is over 19 months old

Lincoln village house fire highlights need for more firefighters

Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue are recruiting

A fire at a property in Metheringham recently has highlighted the continued need for more on-call firefighters in the county.

Crews from Metheringham, Lincoln North, Sleaford, and Billinghay attended a fire at a property on Princes Street in the village near Lincoln on Sunday, April 10.

Thankfully no one was hurt. However, Metheringham fire station said had the call come in slightly later the crew may not have been available and the fire “would have escalated”.

Severe fire damage was caused to a brick building used as a utility room and contents. There was also smoke damage to the kitchen of the property after the fire, which was caused by an unknown electric fault within the utility room.

Metheringham Fire Station said: “This call came in only 25 minutes before our fire appliance was to be unavailable due to low crew numbers at the station.

“Had this call been when we were unavailable this fire would have escalated causing more damage and spread to neighbouring properties. We are looking to recruit more on call firefighters at that station.”

Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue is always looking for on-call firefighters, and most of their 38 on-call stations would benefit from additional hours cover to ensure the on-call appliances are crewed around the clock. The on-call firefighters must be over 18 and live within five minutes of a fire station to apply.

There is not a set number of vacancies as it depends on hours and shifts different people can offer, and there are various ‘Have a Go’ days at the Waddington Training Centre, Bracebridge Heath – see more information and book your place here.

Andy Dixon, Deputy Divisional Commander at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Metheringham is a community fire station, crewed by on-call firefighters and respond not only to incidents like this in their local village, but the wider surrounding area, and even across the county.

“The crew are very much part of their community though and we know they’re incredibly valued within it. They provide a great service and always try to be first on scene at incidents in the local area.

“Of course when they are not available, the next nearest fire crew will attend, with good response times for a predominantly rural fire service.

“Like other fire stations across the county, we’re looking for more on-call firefighters to help us have crews available as much as possible. You need to be over 18 and live within 5 minutes of a fire station to apply.

“The role is exciting, challenging and rewarding and our firefighters say they really feel like they are giving back to their local area. You learn new skills including first aid, trauma training and fire safety, and we can offer shifts around other commitments such as caring responsibilities or other employment. If you’re interested in joining us, you can find lots of information on our website at https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr.”

Andy Dark, assistant general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, previously said that since 2010 there has been a cut of one in every five firefighter jobs and that multiple services “require improvement”.

In the agenda for Lincolnshire County Council’s Public Protection and Communities Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, April 19 it is noted that Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue service is committed to “analysing and monitoring its recruitment process to better understand how to target applicants from under-represented sections of the community to develop a more diverse workforce”.