NORTHUMBERLAND has received a safety boost following the recruitment of 10 additional retained firefighters.

Leaders at Northumberland County Council have approved the decision to take on the new recruits in consultation with Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service following May’s local elections.

The retained firefighters, also known as ‘on-call’ firefighters, have completed their initial training and will be providing cover from Haltwhistle, Rothbury, Berwick, Allendale, Prudhoe, Ponteland, Seahouses and Alnwick stations.

Bellingham’s Coun. John Riddle, portfolio holder for planning, housing and resilience, said meeting firefighters in Prudhoe helped convince him of the need for the new recruits.

“Many people are put off by the prospect of signing up, but those who made the commitment told me how rewarding it was,” he said.

“The training, the camaraderie, the opportunity to give something back to the local community were all factors which made the challenging job worthwhile for many.

“Ensuring the safety of everyone living across Northumberland is vitally important to us and these new retained firefighters will help provide a first class service everyone can be proud of.

“This recruitment drive will improve the overall availability of appliances, meaning the county has first class fire protection and resilience, while the retained firefighters will also support community safety initiatives within their area.”

Anyone with an interest in becoming a retained firefighter is encouraged to get in touch with the council .