On-call firefighters are paid professionals, who do the same work as their wholetime colleagues. Unlike wholetime firefighters, they are not based at the fire station but have other jobs and commitments, responding to emergencies only when their alerter goes off.
On-call firefighters are usually contracted for between 40 and 120 hours of cover per week, but this can vary. Between them, each fire station team will provide cover for weekdays, evenings, nights and weekends.
Around two thirds of the 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.
Firefighting can be dangerous, and we have to ensure that our employees are fit enough in every way for the challenging conditions and environments which they may encounter as part of their operational duties.
We want our recruits to succeed and become competent firefighters. Our recruitment and selection process has to be robust so we can select those people most likely to pass all their training modules and achieve the required level of competence. The application process is therefore designed to determine how someone adapts to the physical, mental and emotional requirements of being a firefighter.
Meet some of our on-call firefighters! Videos are hosted in Facebook so click to expand/get sound.
Follow the menu links to find out more about being an on-call firefighter, the process of applying, and what’s expected of you if you succeed in your application. You can also download our leaflet about what is required.
During the coronavirus pandemic, we are still accepting applications but, due to social distancing, we are having to do some parts of the process differently. This will include some online meetings rather than face-to-face and additional control measures for fitness testing. However, please don’t be put off by this, we will work with you to help your application progress as smoothly as possible.