Fire Chief Thanks Shropshire Employers

Furrows employees Chris Smith and Glen Wheatley are first to the fire station to answer a 999 call.
Firefighters Chris Smith and Glen Wheatley are able to run or cycle the short distance to Wellington Fire Station from their nearby workplace at the Ford car dealership at Furrows in Wellington to answer a 999 call.


Customer Services Advisor Chris Smith and Master Technician Glen Wheatley are usually the first to arrive at Wellington Fire Station to get the fire engine ready when a 999 call comes in.

Both Furrows employees, they immediately stop work when their emergency bleepers go off and run or cycle the 200 metres across the road to the fire station.

Their firefighter colleagues, who must live or work within five minutes of any of the county’s 23 fire stations, arrive moments later to get the fire truck to wherever it is needed.

Today the county’s fire chief thanked Shropshire companies like Furrows for their support in employing firefighters who turn out to answer 999 calls in their neighbourhoods.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service relied heavily on such support in allowing staff to leave their jobs “at a moment’s notice,” said Chief Fire Officer Rod Hammerton.

“In our rural county, 80 per cent of our firefighters are on call and live in the communities where they work to keep people safe in any emergency.

"While in Telford and Shrewsbury we need our wholetime firefighters where the population is much larger.

“But without the employers’ support, there would not be a fire and rescue service in Shropshire, so I want to thank all of them for taking the trouble to help us and to tell them that we need you.”

Furrows Customer Service Manager Richard Alderson said they were “happy to help.”

“We are a small team and as soon as their bleeper goes, it’s all hands on deck and we take over their job roles.

“As a company we want to do everything we can to support the community and help our emergency services. There is another firefighter at our Shrewsbury branch.”

Glenn, who has been a firefighter for 18 months, said: "I thoroughly enjoy every minute of it."

While Chris, with 14 months service, said: "It's exciting and a real challenge. It means you give something back to your community."

Europa Fastenings MD Stephen Cowan, of Bomere Heath, whose engineer son Daniel is an on call firefighter in Shrewsbury, said employers had to be sympathetic to staff who often lost sleep after being called out during the night.

“We let him come in to work late morning if he has had a callout during the night. We recognise that our firefighters are there to save people’s lives. It could be you, it could be me.”

County employers recently received a plaque to mark their contribution including Tom Pain, of Cleobury Mortimer Golf Club where firefighter Kieran Hall works as a greenkeeper and Amy Mitchell, of TinCan Comms Ltd, which employs Albrighton firefighter Carly Woodman as an appointments clerk.

Mr Hammerton appealed for more employers to allow staff to become on call recruits across the county. To become an on call firefighter or if you are an employer call brigade HQ on 01743 260200 or visit for more details about Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service. You can follow the fire service on Facebook and twitter.

6th March, 2018
Furrows Customer Service Manager Richard Alderson receives the employers' award from Chief Fire Officer Rod Hammerton
Europa Fastenings MD Stephen Cowan with the employers' award from Chief Fire Officer Rod Hammerton
Tom Pain, from Cleobury Mortimer golf club, with the Chief Fire Officer
Amy Mitchell with her award from Mr Rod Hammerton