Airport fire crew boosts ranks and secures a new engine

Teesside International Airport’s on-site fire service has increased its ranks by welcoming two new recruits after it also recently secured an extra fire engine.

Amy Caldwell, 28, and Michael Hastings, 32, have joined the team which provides immediate response to any on-site incidents.

They were brought on board, along with the fourth engine which can carry 10,000 litres of water, as part of the airport’s work to get ready for the increased number of domestic services with Loganair and holiday breaks with Ryanair later this year.

Michael joined the crew after previously working with Darlington and County Durham Fire Service.

As well as working at Teesside Airport, Amy is a retained firefighter with Consett Community Fire Service, pitching in when required.

The pair take the number of firefighters to 21 over three watches, overseen by Dave Rowland, the Fire Service Manager who has worked at the airport for 28 years.

One of the new recruits replaces Sandy Gray, who is retiring next month after 25 years and in the coming months there will be another recruitment drive, to replace Stuart Elliott, who has worked at the airport for more than 30 years.

Amy said: “I’m really excited to be joining the airport crew and the team has been incredibly welcoming. Working on just one site, albeit a big one, is a bit of a change to working in the community, but it’s a new challenge that I can’t wait to take on,

“There are so many big things happening at Teesside International now, and it has a great future ahead of it, so I can’t think of a better time to be part of the action!”

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “I’ve always said our airport is more than just flights to Alicante – as important and as popular as they are. It needs to work for the good of our communities by also helping to create good-quality jobs, putting money in the pockets of local people and their families.

“That’s what we’re doing here by growing our fire service’s numbers, offering good careers for local people which, as the staff we’re saying goodbye to prove, these can be careers for life.

“As the airport starts to welcome new routes and destinations and an increase in passengers as part of its 10-Year Rescue Plan, we need to make sure it’s as safe and secure as possible, which is why these roles are so vital.

“But as we continue to redevelop our airport, including the new Southside manufacturing and logistics park development, and bring national and global investment into the region through our terminal, the airport will play a major part in creating jobs for years to come.”