Rescue service under fire over ‘Derbyshire-only’ recruitment drive

Derbyshire fire service says it wants to suport the local economy.Derbyshire fire service says it wants to suport the local economy.
Derbyshire fire service says it wants to suport the local economy.
Firefighters in other counties of the UK have hit out at a ban preventing them from applying to join Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS).

On Wednesday, the organisation launched a recruitment drive to find the next generation of firefighters for the county – ending a five-year recruitment freeze.

The service is only looking for applications from people living in Derbyshire – sparking criticism from firefighters elsewhere in the UK.

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During a question and answer session on Twitter, Chris Howell, of Preston, said: “How can you justify recruiting only from Derbyshire? You’re taking on the best in the county – not the country.”

Another firefighter from Yorkshire said that allowing transfers from other fire services in the UK would mean DFRS would gain experienced staff.

A DFRS spokesman said: “We want to support our local economy.

“We want to supply jobs to local people.”

The organisation intends to take on up to 20 full-time firefighters.

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Terry McDermott, deputy chief fire officer at DFRS, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for people of Derbyshire to join a high performing and excellent service.”

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Government cuts mean DFRS has made more than £5.6million of savings since 2011.

The organisation still needs to save a further £4m by 2018/19.

In October 2013, DFRS announced plans to lose 78 full-time firefighters by 2022 through natural wastage.

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A DFRS spokesman said: “No firefighters have been made redundant and there are no plans to do so in the future.

“Since we last recruited some five years ago, natural turnover means that we have to recruit new firefighters in order to maintain our normal fire cover provision.”

For more information and to apply to be a firefighter, visit the DFRS website by Tuesday, July 14.