Call for Welsh speakers in firefighter recruitment drive
Welsh speakers and those from underrepresented backgrounds are being encouraged to apply to become full time fire fighters with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
Full-time or Wholetime Duty system (WDS) firefighters are based Bangor, Caernarfon, Colwyn Bay, Deeside, Holyhead, Llandudno, Rhyl, and Wrexham.
The 48-hour registration window for on-line applications for the whole-time roles will open at noon on Monday 20 September and close at noon on Wednesday 22 September.
Senior Operations Manager Paul Jenkinson said: “The role of a modern-day firefighter is challenging, rewarding and most of all varied – and for such a diverse role we need a diverse workforce which reflects the communities we serve.
“We’re keen to recruit Welsh speakers as we’re committed to making sure we provide a first-class service to all communities – and as part of our commitment to the Welsh Language, all new members of staff are required to have the ability to show basic Welsh language courtesy skills before the end of their probation period.”
The North Wales Fire and rescue Authority participates in the Welsh Language Standards scheme, having joined in 2016, and strives to improve its compliance every year.
The annual report in 2020 showed that 717 employees (of 866) were able to demonstrate that they had Welsh language skills (level 1 and above) 340 of whom were classed as fluent speakers (Level 4 and 5).
The report said that within the authority, promotion of the language in the workplace included a Welsh Champions Scheme, a Welsh Wednesday campaign, and a ‘Welsh Learner of the Year’ / ‘Commitment to the Welsh Language’ award.
He added that in a bid to encourage applications from under-represented groups including women and people from LGBTQ+, black and ethnic minority groups, the service would be holding “Positive Action Days” on 12 and 17 September at Rhyl Fire Station.
As well as dealing with emergencies, firefighters work with schools to educate young people in fire prevention, fit smoke alarms in people’s houses and talk to diverse communities.
The service also has an ongoing recruitment drive for on-call (or retained duty system) firefighter opportunities which is supported by a national website www.oncallfire.uk.
This encourages people interested in a part time role to get in touch with us throughout the year.
Paul said: “We want people to join our team. Remember that there’s no such thing as a typical firefighter – applications will be welcomed from all sectors of the community.
“We recruit on merit and ability, so whether you’re male, female, short or tall, if you think you might have what it takes, please keep an eye on our website and social media for further information about the recruitment process.
“To find out more and to book a place on a Positive Action Day keep an eye on our social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Our website also contains a wealth of information for all applicants about what it takes to become a full-time firefighter.”
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Of course!! Being able to speak Welsh is such an important skill for firefighters whose core skills include rescuing people from burning buildings. It will be a great step forward if they can rescue them bilingually!