Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service are looking to employ five new firefighters at their Wiveliscombe station amid a shortage of staff which has seen it unable to respond to some nearby incidents.

It has been revealed that Wellington fire crews have been deployed to incidents in and around Wiveliscombe in recent weeks because there were insufficient numbers of firefighters to mobilise from the local station.

The service is recruiting on-call firefighters, who do the same work as full-time firefighters, but can work other jobs or remain at home. During agreed hours, on-call firefighters carry a pager which alerts them to an incident they need to attend.

New contracts have recently been introduced which mean on-call firefighters can agree how many hours they can provide, and the times they will be available to work them. The Wiveliscombe station is in particular need of firefighters to work days on Mondays through to Thursdays, and at weekends.

Wiveliscombe Watch Manager Andy Priest said: “In the past, some people found it hard to commit to the time we were expecting them to be available to us without being paid specifically for that time. This new scheme provides a great deal of flexibility and an enhanced work-life balance, allowing you to agree the hours that you will work.”

In a statement a spokesperson for Devon and Somerset said: "It is important that potential applicants check they meet the criteria on our website. There is a list of essential criteria and information about the fitness and strength tests you will be expected to pass.

"Advice will be available to help you to prepare for your application and the fitness assessments by emailing [email protected]. Applicants can also have the opportunity to visit the station on their weekly training night over the summer and we will be accepting applications again in the Autumn.

"More information about becoming an on-call firefighter is on our website. Become an on-call firefighter | Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service ("

Although the force is not accepting fresh applications until the Autumn, they continue to encourage interested persons to get in touch so that they can be advised about the joining process, meet the existing crew, and make other preparations for putting in their application. The pause follows an influx of applications across the service which look likely to push training courses to their capacity.

The service confirmed that until sufficient staff numbers can be mobilised, the nearest available station - which is typically Wellington - will be deployed to incidents in the area.