Volunteers needed for Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service

Published: 07 Mar 2017

The Fire & Rescue Service are looking for volunteers to respond to fire and flood calls, supporting vulnerable people across the County.

In the event of an emergency, the volunteers deliver emergency heaters and act as a first-call response to Police and Social Service-referred residents; they also help fit fireproof letterboxes and provide fireproof bedding.

Angela Joseph from Watford has been volunteering for nine years after reading about the opportunity in the Free Watford Observer. Last year, she was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

She said: “I was honoured and shocked to receive the MBE. I never thought something like this would happen to me especially for doing something I enjoyed. I thought it would be a good way to occupy my time. It’s really helped to build my confidence; I can talk to people quite easily now and I’ve learnt new things and skills that I can use in my own personal life.”

As a District Co-Ordinator for The Watford Three Rivers Team, Angela’s duties include co-ordinating all the activities for the Watford & Three Rivers Community volunteers and helping to train new volunteers.

She and the team help to provide services such as giving fire and road safety advice to the general public, conducting home fire safety visits for vulnerable members of the community, performing arson patrols, supporting the police on their Safer Street's campaign and handing out Flood safety leaflets on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council.

Fiona Hill, Deputy Cabinet Member for Public Health, Localism and Libraries, said: 

“Volunteering is a great way to get involved with your community. There are plenty of opportunities to help co-ordinate emergency work in the event of a fire or flood. It is a very rewarding role and will help keep vulnerable people safe and well. It would be easy to fit round a full-time job with a commitment of between six and 16 hours.”

Angela added: “I usually do eight hours a month, sometimes more depending on the type of activity or event I am supporting. I like doing it and I have enjoyed all our events. I get great satisfaction from volunteering and I can’t recommend it enough to others. It is a chance to pass on information to people that they wouldn’t have normally thought of to help keep them safe and well.”

Hertfordshire County Council’s Fire Service currently have vacancies for Team Leaders, District Co-Ordinators and VIST (Volunteer Incident Support Team members) who respond to fire and flood calls supporting vulnerable people in the county with things such as clearing up and rubbish removal following an incident and delivering emergency heaters. They also provide a first call response to Police and Social Service referred vulnerable residents to fit fireproof letterboxes and provide fireproof bedding.

If you think you could commit between 6-16 hours a month to get involved and make a difference in your community we’d love to hear from you. You can apply online by visiting https://beta.hertfordshire.gov.uk/firesafetyvolunteers or contact Roy Aldwin on 01707 292639.