A big thank you to the bosses

Group shot of employers holding plaques on a dark night in front of a fire appliance

Thanks to the employers from Chief Fire Officer John Redmond: Pictured left to right, are: Clare Hammond (Edward Oliver Ltd); Mike Bugiel (Mid Counties Co-op); Anne Spandrzyk (St Lawrence’s Primary School); Anne Nutting (Bucks Head); Carol Sharpe (Longmynd Service Station); John Mackenzie (Central Garage); Sue Bartle (Spar) and Cathy Thomas (Church Stretton Academy School)

The Chief Fire Officer gave a warm reception to Shropshire businesses which employ on call firefighters during a drill night at a county fire station.

John Redmond said a “big thank you” to eight local employers and presented them with special awards for their "crucial" support at a ceremony held in their honour at Church Stretton fire station.

"Without the goodwill of such employers across the county, our fire and rescue capabilities in rural parts of Shropshire would be in jeopardy,” said the fire chief.

County employers allow on call firefighters, who live or work within five minutes of their local fire station, to “down tools” and leave work at a moment's notice when their bleepers alerts them to the latest emergency in their community.

A total of 80 per cent of the brigade's firefighters' protecting the county are on call, said Mr Redmond.

"They all have other jobs in the community and give up their time to regularly train to be highly skilled firefighters ready to protect their communities whenever the call comes through in the day or the middle of the night.

"They get to work the next day even if they have a call out at 3am. I thank them all for their dedication and their employers too. Shropshire cannot do without either of you."

Mr Redmond appealed for more employers to allow staff to become on call recruits across the county. There is an immediate need for them in Much Wenlock, he revealed.

Employers receiving plaques were from Edward Oliver building projects developer, Mid Counties Co-op, St Lawrence’s Primary School, Bucks Head pub, Longmynd Service Station, Central Garage, the Spar shop, and Church Stretton Academy School.

Head teacher Mr Dick Langford added: “We have a wonderful caretaker for our school in Wayne Castree. He opens up early in the morning and locks up in the evening and cleans and fixes everything that needs doing. He is here a lot and if he gets an emergency call we are happy for him to go. He is helping the community of Church Stretton.”

9th January, 2014