Keeping the fire service in the family

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West Sussex Fire and Rescue welcomed six new retained firefighters into the service following their pass out at Worthing Fire Station on Friday, December 11.

They have have just completed an intensive two week initial training course and now have the essential knowledge and skills to join their colleagues at fire stations around the county.

Three of the new recruits – Calum Soraghan, Toby Hawkins and Chris Monk – will be working from Haywards Heath, while George Wright will be stationed at East Wittering, Tim Batten will be at Midhurst and Darryl Clement will be at Lancing.

It was a particularly special day for retired firefighter Chris Clement, who worked at Shoreham in the early 1970s before moving to Worthing Fire Station, from 1976 until 2000.

He proudly watched as his grandson, Darryl, joined the service.

The 26-year-old, who will be based at Lancing where they both live, said: “This is something I have always wanted to do. It’s great to be following in Grandad’s footsteps.”

Retained firefighters are paid to be ‘on call’ for the fire service, meaning they are often employed elsewhere or are at home when they receive a pager alert, but are ready to spring into immediate action to deal with a 999 incident.

In West Sussex, retained firefighters fully crew 14 of the 25 fire stations and are vital to the delivery of the county’s fire and rescue service. They receive an annual retaining fee, as well as additional payments for any incidents or community safety events they attend.

They receive regular training in firefighting, rescue and extrication techniques, equipping them with the skills to deal with fires, road traffic accidents and a wide range of other emergencies, to save lives in their local community.

The new firefighters were presented with their certificates by deputy chief fire officer for West Sussex, Lee Neale, who welcomed them into the fire service family.

He said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome our new firefighters into the team and I wish them a long and rewarding career in the Fire Service. Retained firefighters make such a valuable contribution to their local communities and our Service couldn’t operate without their considerable dedication and commitment.

“The retained system only works thanks to the support of local employers. There are many businesses in West Sussex that recognise that allowing their staff to become retained firefighters benefits the community, their staff and themselves.

“We still need more firefighters to be on call at many of our Fire Stations. Retained firefighters come from all walks of life and we would encourage enquiries from all sections of the community.”

To find out how to become a retained firefighter in West Sussex call 01243 642134 or email

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