Four Fenland men trained to save lives as fire service recruit new retained firefighters

FOUR men from Fenland have joined the ranks at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service as retained firefighters.

Nick Keymer, 36, from March, Gary Smalley, 38, from Chatteris, Malcolm Cornwell, 37, from Littleport, and Les Burton, 34, from Wisbech, all joined the service earlier this year.

As retained firemen they receive full training and will be on-call - responding to a range of emergencies when their pagers alert them.

Mr Keymer, who is also a full-time warehouse supervisor, said: “I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do so I can give something back to the community, which I think is important in a smaller town like March.”

Mr Burton, a father of two who is based at Wisbech Station, said he was delighted to finally realise his ambition of working as a retained firefighter.

“I can’t praise the instructors at the Training Centre enough,” he said. “They’re all really approachable but at the same time they really put you through your paces.

“I have really taken a lot from the training, and a lot of it will help me with my full time job.”

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Retained firefighters are able to respond to incidents and are full trained in saving lives. They receive breathing apparatus training after six months.

Graham Stagg, Chief Fire Officer for Cambridge Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We would like to welcome these new recruits to the service and thank their employers for allowing them to become retained firefighters.”

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