A RECRUITMENT drive is being held tomorrow to attract more retained firefighters to an understaffed fire station.

Pump crews from Darlington or Bishop Auckland are having to drive to Barnard Castle to provider cover for the fire station, which is two firefighters short of its full complement of 18. However, with another two people retiring at the end of the year, at least four part-time firefighters are needed.

"Since the strikes, new procedures are going to be brought in which will mean we're eventually going to want closer to 20 people," said Station Officer Dave Hodgson, who is retiring after 25 years' service.

"What we really need is people who can cover during the day - from nine to five.

The recruitment meeting will take place tomorrow at Barnard Castle fire station, at 6pm