HALSTEAD Fire and Rescue is appealing for more on-call firefighters to sign up to the service.

Station bosses are hoping to recruit nine more firefighters in the town.

On-call firefighters give up their free time to be trained to the same standard as full-time officers.

Instead of being based in the station they are based off site and respond to emergency calls from a pager.

Gareth Robertson, 41, has been an on-call firefighter since 1999.

He said: “My dad was station officer here and when you’re a kid you look up to your dad. I thought I want be one of them and it went on from there.”

Gareth decided to be an on-call firefighter to help out in the community.

He said: “It’s nice to give something back.”

Dominic Adams and Luke Kilby, both 24, became on-call firefighters just over a year ago for similar reasons.

Luke said: “We all live in the area we are protecting.

“I grew up here so I see a lot of the faces – the same faces – so to actually help them is a massive thing.”

On-call firefighters are not volunteers. It is a paid role that can be taken on alongside any other job.

Gareth works with cars by day, and he says his skills from work can benefit him when he is working an on-call shift.

He said: “We go to road traffic incidents and I can help with things like that.”

To find out more call into Halstead fire station or visit join.essex-fire.gov.uk/apply-now.