With 30 volunteers learning fire safety and trading standards over four days the latest Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service training course was the largest in the programme's four-year history.

Herts now has 23 newly trained fire safety community volunteers and seven Trading Standards volunteers following their induction at Longfield training and development centre in Stevenage where they learned everything from the structure of the fire service, to community safety, diversity, fire behaviour and first aid.

Chief Fire Officer Roy Wilsher said: "Our volunteers work across the whole county making a valuable contribution to their local community. Involving local people in our work has proved to be an effective way of getting important safety information into the heart of our community.

"With volunteers helping at public events, advising local people about fire safety and Trading Standards issues, our capacity to make a difference in the community gets a real boost. I am extremely grateful to all of our volunteers who give up their own time to make Hertfordshire an ever safer place."

The fire safety community volunteer scheme was launched in January 2008 and now has around 100 volunteers across the county, each contributing a few hours a month raising awareness of fire safety and delivering community safety initiatives in their local area.

The Trading Standards volunteer scheme launched last November and now has 13 volunteers trained in consumer law ready to offer support and advice to people in their communities, visiting areas where there have been reports of rogue doorstep trading, supporting Trading Standards officers to protect local communities.

Across the county, 60 volunteers have had additional training as 'resilience volunteers' to ensure they are ready to help in case of civil emergencies by supporting staff at emergency reception centres.

For more information on volunteer recruitment visit www.hertsdirect.org and search 'Fire volunteers' or contact Herts Fire & Rescue Service outreach and volunteer manager Roy Aldwin at roy.aldwin@hertscc.gov.uk or phone 07801 703965.

Posted 25/04/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com