Fire chiefs are looking for volunteers to help keep people safe.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) currently have 60 volunteers to help out in a wide range of activities.
They include open days at fire stations, helping with safety initiatives, leaflet drops, promotional events, home safety checks and recruitment events.
Grant Brotherton, head of prevention and education at TWFRS, said: “Volunteers were introduced in 2013 and the programme has grown to become a thriving network of capable and enthusiastic individuals, who give their time selflessly to help our staff.
“Volunteers help in a number of key activities and initiatives, and their contribution has allowed us to help keep people safe from the risks of fire.”
Sara Hall from South Tyneside has been volunteering with TWFRS since 2015.
She said: “I found myself unemployed after working full-time for 17 years with two young children on my own after the breakdown of my marriage.
“I was embarrassed having to depend on benefits, but the upside was I got to focus on my children.
“I had to attend job fairs to find employment and got taking to TWFRS.
“We got chatting and I felt empowered, thinking ‘if I’m on benefits, this is a way I could give something back’.
“Before I knew it, I passed the interview and was at my first open day at Hebburn Community Fire Station, where I loved fundraising for the Firefighters Charity.
“Volunteering gives me a purpose and a sense of self-worth. Volunteering has also given me so much more than just an attachment to my CV. It’s lifted my confidence.”
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer for TWFRS can fill in an expression of interest form at https://www.twfire.gov.uk/work-for-us/volunteers/ or pick up a form from their local fire station.
They can also have an informal chat with an existing volunteer at a drop-in session on Monday March 18, from 11:30pm – 2:30pm at South Shields Community Fire Station.