Could you become a firefighter? - why Horncastle needs you!

Firefighters in Horncastle have issued a plea for new volunteers to '˜sign up' for duty and declared: 'It's a fantastic way to serve your community.'

There are 10 on-call firefighters at the Horncastle station in Foundry Street under officer-in-command Alan Maskell.

Ideally, every call out should be attended by a crew of six - the minimum number is four.

However, retirements and job moves mean the station is keen to hear from new recruits - male and female.

Mr Maskell, who has an incredible 41 years’ service under his belt, said: “The lads we’ve got are a brilliant team and they do a brilliant job.

“In previous years, we’ve often had a waiting list but for whatever reason, that’s not the case.

“We’re OK for numbers as things stand but it would be great to see a few new faces.

“Being an on-call firefighter is a fantastic way to put something back into the community.”

The Horncastle station covers a big area and can involve attending road traffic accidents and medical emergencies - as well as fires.

Mr Maskell, who took command in 1991, added: “No two days are the same.

“I look back on my years with a lot of pride. It is a commitment but the rewards are there.

“The retirement age used to be 55 but that no longer applies.

“I hope to carry on for another couple of years - while I can manage the fitness tests!”

Horncastle is renowned for long-serving stalwarts like Mr Maskell and local legends like Russell Danby and Joe Stockton, who both clocked up 48 years.

Mr Maskell’s ‘number two’, Garry Pick, has 37 years’ service and told the News he ‘loves the job’.

At the other end of the scale, the station has some younger recruits, including Mike Baumber who is something of a ‘novice’ at seven years service.

He said: “We provide 24 hour cover, seven-days-a-week.

“We all have other jobs. I work at Mortons and they are really supportive. It’s the same at home with the wife and children. If there’s a shout, they know I have to go. You never know what’s going to happen but you know what you do can make a massive difference.”