Fire station keeps it in the family with its latest recruit

Tom Williams (pictured right) joins his dad Rick and twin brother Stuart as a retained firefighter at Bognor Fire Station
Tom Williams (pictured right) joins his dad Rick and twin brother Stuart as a retained firefighter at Bognor Fire Station

Saving lives must be in Tom Williams’s blood as he is the fourth member of his family to join the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.

He will be serving as a retained firefighter alongside his dad Rick and twin brother Stuart at the Bognor Fire Station.

Tom celebrated with Rick, Stuart and his mum Sandra at his graduation ceremony, which was held at East Preston Fire Station last week.

Sandra, who is now retired, also worked for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service as a 999 Operator for nearly 20 years.

Tom said: “I’ve grown up around firefighters and fire engines all my life so I think it’s just in my blood.

“They say that the fire service is like a family – and in our case, it really is. I’m now looking forward to putting all my training into action.”

They say that the fire service is like a family – and in our case, it really is

Tom Williams

Rick added: “Being a retained firefighter takes hard work, dedication and commitment but it’s so rewarding. I know that Tom will make a fantastic addition to our crew at Bognor.

“This is an incredibly proud moment for me as a dad and for my whole family. It’s a special feeling to know that both my sons will be serving alongside me.”

Tom is one of six firefighters to have just completed the intensive initial training course.

Retained firefighters combine their day jobs or duties with being on call for the fire service, ready to respond to emergencies when they are needed.

The new firefighters were presented with their certificates by Assistant Chief Fire Officer for West Sussex, Kieran Amos, who said: “Retained firefighters make such a valuable contribution to their local communities and our Service couldn’t operate without their considerable dedication.

“We still have a number of vacancies at retained fire stations around the county and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

“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.”

To find out more watch the video above or visit westsussex.gov.uk/fire.