• Mon. May 20th, 2024

Councillors take on firefighters’ fitness challenge for charity


Aug 29, 2022

Three councillors have accepted the challenge to take part in the rigorous firefighter fitness tests.

The national firefighter recruitment test involves a ladder climb, casualty evacuation, ladder lift and lower simulation, enclosed spaces, equipment assembly and equipment carry.

The job requires aerobic fitness, upper and lower body strength, stamina and co-ordination.

They aim to highlight the work firefighters do for the community, and help recruit more on-call firefighters across West Oxfordshire.

They are also raising funds for the Fire Fighter's Charity which supports the mental, physical and social needs of all serving and retired members of the UK's fire service.

Andrew Coles, vice-chair, and Duncan Enright, deputy leader, of West Oxfordshire District Council and Luci Ashbourne, councillor for Witney Central ward, have been training with firefighters in order to get fit.

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Mr Coles said: “This all came about because the firefighters themselves challenged me to take part in their annual fitness test and I roped my colleagues in to join me.

"The recent record temperatures have seen a significant increase in the demands on our local fire service and many people aren't aware that the vast majority of fire cover is done by on-call firefighters who work elsewhere in the community but respond when an emergency call comes in."

Ms Ashbourne has a family connection to the Witney team.

She said: “Our local firefighting team benefits our community in countless ways – not least working hard to keep us safe.

"My son is part of the Witney team and the support they offer to each other to be able to provide their life-saving and life-enhancing service is second to none.

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"The firefighter fitness test is part of the recruitment process, and I'm hoping that by taking part we can inspire people to consider joining the team."

They will be taking part in the firefighters annual fitness test at Witney Fire Station on Sunday September 4.

Mr Enright added: “We are all so proud of our firefighters who keep us safe every day. Anyone thinking of becoming a firefighter should get in touch with the fire service to discuss it.

"As the oldest in this challenge I am expecting to find out the hard way just how fit our professionals are!”

People can contribute to the fundraising by visiting the teams JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fit-test-2022

The Oxfordshire Fire Service is currently recruiting both on-call and full time firefighters. More information can be found at: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/council/working-oxfordshire-county-council/fire-service-recruitment

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