As a Service, we are reliant on on-call (retained) firefighters – almost two thirds of our operational staff work this duty system to keep our communities safe.
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.
Which stations can I apply to?
You can submit an application for any of our on-call stations across our Service area. When submitting an application, you will be asked to choose one station to apply for (you cannot apply for more than one at this stage).
Please note: Ferndown, Christchurch, Wimborne, Poole, Trowbridge, Dorchester, Lyme Regis, Weymouth, Swindon and Bridport are currently at full establishment and are therefore not recruiting until further notice.
Additionally, Springbourne, Westbourne, Redhill Park and Westlea are manned by wholetime firefighters only so you will not be able to apply for them. We are not currently recruiting for wholetime firefighters, however please keep an eye on our website and social media pages for future campaigns.
You can see more about your local fire station by searching for it here
How many firefighters are on-call?
On-call firefighters are staff who make themselves available for emergency call-outs depending on their other commitments. They are usually contracted for between 40 and 120 hours 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.
Who can be an on-call firefighter?
Our on-call staff come from all walks of life and reflect the communities they live and work in: 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 live or work near the fire station so you can respond quickly
- You must have a good standard of physical fitness – and we can provide advice on what is needed
- You must have the right to work in the UK
Ideally, your travel time to your local fire station from home or work will be no more than five minutes – however, we will still consider applicants from outside this area and would encourage an early conversation with the station management team to help us understand what cover you can offer and when.
We are committed to equality of opportunity and diversity in employment and welcome applications from all sectors of the community. We particularly welcome applications from women and those from an ethnic minority, as they are currently under-represented within Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.
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 for you to become an on-call firefighter, regardless of whether you are able to respond during working hours. This is because there may be occasions where you have been at an incident for a significant amount of time, potentially impacting on your ability to do your usual job, or you may be delayed at the start of your working day.
Your employer will also need to be aware of other Service commitments that you will have, such as training.