On-call (retained) firefighters are ordinary people doing extraordinary work – they are men and women who may have other jobs or responsibilities as well as their vital role with the Fire & Rescue Service.
On-call firefighters are part-time staff who make themselves available for emergency call-outs depending on their other commitments. They are usually contracted for between 48 and 120 hours per week, but this can vary. Between them, each fire station team will provide cover for weekdays, evenings, nights and weekends.
How many firefighters are on-call?
Some 60% of firefighters in Dorset and Wiltshire work on an on-call basis, making them hugely important to both the Service and the communities that they serve. Of our 50 stations, the majority are crewed only by on-call firefighters and on-call staff work alongside their wholetime colleagues at many of our other stations.
Who can be an on-call firefighter?
Our on-call staff come from all walks of life: they may be employed, self-employed, parents at home or students. Some work in building or allied trades, whilst others are shop assistants, farmers, typists, factory workers or managers.
What they all have in common is self-reliance, confidence, respect, enthusiasm, team spirit and a willingness to be ready for anything when they are alerted to an emergency.
On-call and wholetime firefighters are expected to meet the same entry standards and they receive the same training and development to enable them to work to common standards.
Who can apply?
You can find out more about the role and current vacancies through these pages, but key requirements for applicants are:
- You must be at least 18 years old when you join us (you can apply once you are 17½)
- You must be able to get to the fire station within a specified time (usually four minutes but this varies, so check the vacancy details for your local station)
- Good standard of physical fitness
- You must have the right to work in the UK
If you are unsure if you can apply, please contact our HR team on 01722 691444 or email [email protected]
Will you contact my main employer?
If you are currently employed, we will need your employer’s consent in order for you to become an on-call firefighter, regardless of whether you intend to be available during working hours.