NEW on-call firefighters are being sought in a county-wide recruitment drive.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is looking for more than 40 new recruits to deliver lifesaving capabilities from 25 fire stations.

Firefighters are needed at stations around Cumbria including Arnside, Broughton, Coniston, Kirkby Lonsdale, Kirkby Stephen, Milnthorpe, Shap and Staveley.

If successful, the new on-call firefighters will be expected to attend a two-hour training session at their fire station each week plus additional core training courses in order to maintain operational skills.

The nature of the on-call duty system also requires firefighters to live or work within five minutes of their station so they can respond to emergency calls.

On-call firefighters are contracted to provide an agreed number of ‘availability’ hours and only attend the fire station when they have received an emergency callout.

Each on-call firefighter carries a pocket alerter, which is activated when they are needed and they subsequently report to the fire station and mobilise the necessary fire appliances.

Weekday ‘day cover’ is required at most stations beween 8am and 6pm in addition to weekend cover.

Call rates vary with some of Cumbria’s on-call stations responding to over 200 calls a year and others as few as 15.

The service is looking for men and women from all different backgrounds who are fit, healthy, up for a challenge and prepared to commit to the role.

To back up the recruitment drive new Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created to spread messages about the campaign and provide question and answer opportunities via social media.

The Twitter account is @CFRSRecruitment and the Facebook page CF&RS Recruitment. These are not volunteer roles.

The pay scales for on-call firefighter are:

* A retainer of £2,158 - £2,877 dependent on the cover provided

* An hourly rate of £13.14 when competent in role

* An on-call firefighter can earn around £6,000 a year

To apply people will need to complete an application form; carry out a number of nationally recognised tests and have an interview and medical check.

The recruitment process runs until the end of April and a series of open days are being held so people interested in becoming on-call firefighters can visit their local station to chat to the crews, have a go at some of the tests and find out more about what this lifesaving role entails.

Open days are taking place at the following locations: Arnside April 13, 11.30am-3.30pm; Broughton April 2, 10.30am–3pm; Coniston March 31, 11am–4pm; Kirkby Lonsdale April 5, 10am-1pm; Kirkby Stephen March 30, 11am-3pm; Milnthorpe April 12, 1130am -3.30pm; Shap April 12, 11am – 3pm; Staveley April 13, 11am-3pm.