Chilford Hall arson victims pledge support to increase on-call firefighter numbers

PUBLISHED: 16:47 19 April 2013 | UPDATED: 16:47 19 April 2013

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FIREFIGHTERS who fought one of the biggest fires in the region last year have gained support from a grateful fire victim as crews attempt to swell their numbers.

Linton fire station is calling for residents and workers to sign up as on-call firefighters – and Chilford Hall directors are supporting them every step of the way.

Glen Mejias, director and general manager at Chilford Hall, said: “In June last year, Chilford Hall suffered one of the largest and most serious fires in

the history of the south Cambridgeshire community and the on-call firefighters from Linton fire station were an essential part of the team.

“On-call firefighters provide an essential and very valuable community service, particularly in rural areas. With first hand experience of how vital their role is, we are very thankful that their swift initial actions and liaison with other Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service crews helped to prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings onsite, limiting the damage and helping to control the blaze.”

Chilford Hall was attacked by arsonists and it was the on-call firefighting crew from Linton which crewed the first firefighting appliance on the scene at 3.15am on the day of the incident. This big fire made headlines across the country and was tackled by 19 fire crews comprising of more than 60 firefighters at its height.

Within four minutes of the 999 call coming in on the day, a team of firefighters had jumped out of bed and raced to Linton fire station. Minutes later they were at the site of the devastating blaze, rolling out hoses and fighting the fire, which resulted in the destruction of the main part of Chilford Hall.

A Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “As fully trained professionals who save lives in their communities, on-call firefighters are men and women who may have other jobs and are able to provide evening, daytime or weekend cover.

“They carry a pager and respond to emergency incidents as and when they happen, just like the crew did in repsonse to the Chilford Hall fire.

“Living or working within five minutes of a local fire station, they receive an annual wage to reflect the time they commit plus additional payments for attending drill nights and incidents.”

For further information about how you can support the community by becoming an on-call firefighter, either call into Linton fire station on Wednesday evenings between 7pm and 9pm, or contact recruitment on 01480 444500. Alternatively log on to cambsfire.gov.uk.


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