VOLUNTEERS are needed to help keep Cumbrian communities safe from fires.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is looking to recruit new volunteers to spread the fire prevention message and get involved with a range of safety activities and initiatives around the county.

Volunteers support the work of the fires service in a variety of roles from assisting or carrying out home fire safety checks and fitting free smoke alarms to delivering Heartstart life-support courses.

They are also involved in:

• Assisting at events and community days.

• Getting involved in campaigns and speaking to residents about community and road safety issues.

• Introducing emergency plans to communities to reduce the impact of fire or flooding on peoples’ lives.

• Raising awareness of the Fire and Rescue Service at community events with Firefit activities including the climbing wall and soccer cage.

Each member of the community volunteer team is given varied training, a uniform and expenses and operates within a formal structure to ensure high standards of service are maintained.

As well as learning new skills and helping to keep the county safe, signing up as a volunteer is a good way to meet new people and give something back to the community.

Currently Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service has around 80 volunteers county-wide and is looking to boost that number by taking on new volunteers.

And with there being no such thing as a regular volunteer, people from all backgrounds and ages are being encouraged to come forward and commit as little or as much time as they can spare.

The county’s Chief Fire Officer Ian Cartwright said: “Nowadays fire prevention and educating people about the dangers of fires and other emergencies such as road traffic collisions is a major focus of our work so our volunteers are absolutely key to us getting out into communities and delivering the safety messages that save lives.

“Being a volunteer can be highly rewarding and it’s a great opportunity to be part of our team.”

Councillor Barry Doughty, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Volunteers have played a vital role in helping us reduce the number of Fire Service incidents in Cumbria by 34 per cent over the past six years through delivering prevention activity.

“I’d encourage anybody who might be interested in sparing some of their time to support us in continuing to make Cumbria an even safer place to get in touch with our volunteer co-ordinator and find out more.”

For further information on becoming a Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service volunteer, call 01768 812552 or email volunteers@cumbriafire.gov.uk for an application pack or to find out more information.