North Somercotes Fire Station in desperate need of new recruits

North Somercotes Fire Station.
North Somercotes Fire Station.

The on-call fire station in North Somercotes is in desperate need of new recruits due to current numbers becoming very ‘low’.

Carl Foxall, Watch Command Support for East Division said the reason behind their decreased crew numbers was due to a number of officers retiring at the same time.

These low numbers have also resulted in the fire station currently having no on-call responders who help assist with emergency medical calls.

The station not only serves North Somercotes, but crew members can be called out to assist with incidents in other nearby villages, as well as Tetney, Louth and Mablethorpe.

Mr Foxall revealed that current crew numbers stood at nine, but was due to fall to eight within the next week.

But, he stressed to the Leader that they were doing all they could to get in new recruits - but admitted they were struggling.

Mr Foxall told the Leader: “Staffing numbers are pretty low at the moment. Really, we need at least 12 crew members at North Somercotes, but currently have around nine - with another one due to leave shortly.

“We have had a lot of people leave all at once, mainly due to retirement, but we are looking for new recruits to join the station.”

If new crew members cannot be found, Mr Foxall added that they would look at other arrangements to sort out the low numbers at the station - but wanted to reassure residents that the closure of the fire station altogether would not happen.

Mr Foxall also said that in regards to there being no co-responders currently at the station, this was again down to the number of recent retirements.

He commented: “Fire officers being co-responders is a voluntary arrangement and not mandatory.

“We are reliant on people wanting to do it, but there isn’t anyone currently available. We are looking at new recruits hopefully wanting to take on this scheme as well.”

Paul Litherland, EMAS Ambulance Operations Manager for Lincolnshire wants to reassure residents that the lack of co-responders at the fire station will not affect the response in the area.

He said: “Emergency fire responders play an important role in supporting their communities in times of a life threatening emergency. However, they are never a substitute for an ambulance response.

“Because our responders are based within the communities, they can often reach the patient prior to an ambulance arriving.

“We would like to reassure the public that whilst North Somercotes Fire Station was one scheme providing support to the local residents, we have many dedicated LIVES responders within the same area.”

Mr Litherland added that thanks to additional funding EMAS will receive this year, the ambulance service will be able to put more ambulances and clinical staff on the road, which will make ‘a significant difference’ in their ability to be consistently responsive to all patients.’

*If you want more info on becoming a recruit for the fire service, then please call their recruitment number on: 0800 3580204. Or you can pop along to North Somercotes Fire Station on a Thursday evening between the hours of 7-9 pm.