Appeal issued for more retained firefighters in Stepps
07 February 2020
Stepps needs more retained firefighters.
A community fire station on the outskirts of Glasgow is on the look-out for retained firefighters to serve on the frontline.
Stepps is in need of potential lifesavers to respond to emergencies and help keep people safe.
Retained firefighters (RDS) protect towns and villages across Scotland by carrying an emergency pager system and often balance the role with primary employment.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is looking to add to its retained crews from all walks of life and is particularly keen to welcome more women as well as members of ethnic and LGBT+ communities.
RDS crews respond to emergencies, but also carry out prevention work in the community by visiting schools and homes to provide safety advice and install smoke detectors.
Watch Commander Chris Burns has been a retained firefighter in Stepps since 2003.
For the former office worker, being there for neighbours has been one of his biggest inspirations.
He said: “I’ve lived here since I was five years old
“For me, it has been an opportunity to put something back into the community I’ve grown up in– that has always driven me.
“The community recognises the work we do and we get their thanks.”
Like Chris, retained firefighters often cite being there for their community as key motivator.
But the opportunity to develop skills which be transferred to current or future roles is another motivational factor.
Chris, who has gone onto become a wholetime firefighter, said: “The training that you receive can be transferred across any kind of work.
“It’s far-ranging work. You learn a lot about yourself through practical skills and teamwork.
“We also do prevention work within homes, schools and the wider community to help keep people safe.”
Like many areas across Scotland, Stepps is in need of more local people to step up and apply to become retained firefighters.
Chris revealed: “The level of commitment required is one of the biggest challenges – but we will support people every single step of the way.
“You do need to be flexible, but the service will work with you and the role works for me.”
He added: “I’d urge anyone considering the role to come and speak with us at the station.
“We’re here to answer any questions you may have and hopefully we can provide you with all the information you need.”
Stepps Fire Station is hosting a retained recruitment open night this Monday between 6.30pm and 9.30pm.
Members of the crew will be on hand to answer questions and provide information on the retained role.
We are currently looking for retained firefighters across Scotland.
For more on what it takes to become a retained firefighter visit:
For current opportunities visit: