Firefighters at the retained fire station in Queensferry think “every little helps”.
Liam Casey, Derek Stenhouse Jnr, and Jonny Sanderson are all firefighters based at the station, who also work for their local Tesco.
Firefighters on the retained duty system (RDS) must live and work close to a specific station, and able to commit to providing an emergency response within the community. To provide day cover for a retained station you need the permission of your employer to let you away when necessary. Thankfully in this case it is the local Tesco.
Tesco store manager John Thompson said: “It’s really important to me, and to all the team at Tesco South Queensferry that we play an active part in our local community.”
Station commander Mike Partington said “I would like to personally thank Tesco for allowing their staff to become retained firefighters.
“As one of the major employers in the area, Tesco can feel proud that they have played a vital role in making the local community safer. “Being a firefighter requires commitment and self-discipline. Liam, Derek and Jonny will also gain emergency skills including first aid and trauma care. They may be able to assist in health and safety and fire safety related matters. They are trained on an on-going basis to maintain and develop these skills.’’
Liam, who has been a retained firefighter for 18 months and worked at Tesco for eight years, said: “The fire station is two minutes away which is ideal if we get paged. Being a retained firefighter allows us to give something back to the community and Tesco have been so supportive by letting me have time off to attend college and courses.’’
Derek, a firefighter of nine months and a Tesco employee for three years, added: “My Dad worked 30 years in the retained South Queensferry fire station for 30 years. He is the reason why I wanted to join the service and hopefully become a full time firefighter.’’
And Jonny has been a firefighter for five months and worked at Tesco for four years, he said: “I was always interested in becoming a retained firefighter and I knew Derek who persuaded me to join.”
The role of an RDS firefighter is challenging, demanding and rewarding. If you are interested go to www.myjobscotland.gov.uk