THE search is on for fresh faces in order to keep Borth fire station up and running.
Borth fire station is one of two stations in the whole of the UK run entirely by volunteers, with the other being in Peterborough.
With several members of the voluntary crew reaching retirement age, they are looking to recruit new members to pass on the torch and keep the 74 year old crew running.
One member of the crew, Aled Jenkins, said: “Borth fire station has been run on a voluntary basis since it began in 1950 with a Land Rover and pump on a trailer - surplus WWII equipment owned by one of the volunteers.
“Fast forward 74 years and local volunteers from the village still answer calls at any time of the day or night, often first on scene to local incidents ranging from house fires and road traffic accidents to flooding and animal rescues.
“The station is currently equipped with a Mercedes Sprinter van and a range of operational equipment supplied and maintained by Mid and West Wales Fire Service, who also provide the training for our volunteers. We have a crew of seven with a combined service of 156 years - recently, two of our crew members received their long service medals, having done an incredible 38 years of service each.”
Borth resident Jonathan Griffiths, an organiser of a carol singing fundraiser which took place in the town to raise money for the volunteer service, said: “The volunteer service is very important to our community, it’s those crucial minutes where they can turn up to places faster than the crew from Aberystwyth or Machynlleth. They’re a golden few minutes.
“A couple of years ago a house went up in a fire, and it was the volunteer crew who were first there. They set up the hydrants saving time when the big engines turned up. It could have been a lot worse without them.”
“The station is very modern, it was all built about 15 years ago. Funding and equipment aren’t the issue. But you can throw as much money at it as you want, it can’t function without recruits.
Up to half of the crew are expected to retire across the next couple of years, threatening the future of the community-run service.
The crew are appealing for potential volunteers to reach out and pick up the torch.
Aled said: “We are currently looking for new volunteers to join our team so that we can continue to provide this important service to our own community in Borth as well as the surrounding villages.”