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On-call firefighters

On-call firefighters are a crucial part of the Fire Service - they provide an efficient and effective emergency service to the communities of Staffordshire.

If you are interested and live or work near to an on-call fire station, or would just like to find out more, please contact your local On-call Support Officer (contact details below) for an informal chat and they will be able to provide you with further details.

Alternatively, you can find out more about the role, the salary, and apply here

We are always recruiting on-call firefighters and if there are no vacancies in your area you can register interest so you can be contacted when an opportunity opens up.

Apply now

Your local on-call support officers

What is an on-call firefighter?

On-call firefighters provide emergency response cover from either their home or work base, which needs to be within five minutes of their local station.

After their initial training course, on-call firefighters attend weekly drill nights to ensure they maintain their skills, in addition to which there are many more opportunities for training throughout the year. As well as responding to emergencies, on-call firefighters can also get involved in community fire safety initiatives in their local area, including carrying out home fire risk checks and school visits (currently restricted due to Covid-19).

What we’re looking for

In order to become a on-call firefighter you must:

  • Be over 18-years-old 
  • Have a positive attitude and willingness to learn new skills
  • Want to make a valuable and worthwhile contribution to your local community
  • Live within five minutes of your nearest station (however all applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • We are looking for people from a range of backgrounds that represents the diversity of our communities

Interested? Find out your local fire stations drill night time and date.

We can be flexible around your current working arrangements

Many on-call firefighters fit in their firefighter duties around their main employment. Others have an agreement with their employer which enables them to leave work should they be alerted to attend an incident. The on-call duty system also appeals to unemployed people.

As an on-call firefighter you will play a full and valuable role in Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and you can expect the same respect from the community and have the same job satisfaction as full-time firefighters.

Below are some useful links which may help with your application:

On-call firefighter FAQ's

An on-call firefighter is someone who has a primary job but also provides emergency support when required.

You have to stay near the station as much as possible. This could be at home or even a local restaurant, but you need to be in a position to up and leave at any time.

They don’t do anything differently from full-time firefighters, the only difference is that are not based at the station for set shifts and they usually have a primary job. Some fit their on-call hours around this, but some employers allow staff to respond to incidents from work.

On-call firefighters provide cover when at home or work for a minimum of 50 hours a week which can be made up of full days or part of the day/night that fits around your primary employment. You’d also attend the station weekly for training. There is no set maximum of hours but we need you to maintain a healthy work/life balance and also consider your primary employment.

When an emergency occurs, on-call firefighters will be notified by an alerter and will need to make their way to the fire station quickly.

Yes, you receive a basic ‘retainer’ fee dependant on the number of hours cover you provide and then a positive hourly rate for attending incidents, community work and training.

It depends on how many incidents you attend so it’s hard to predict but may be anything between £300 and £1,000 a month.

Yes – full training is provided.

Once you are competent there may be an opportunity to be trained on blue lights if your station needs more drivers.

The initial training is completed over 20 weeks on station in 2 hour sessions. You then complete further modules, initially for 2-3 weeks but there is a further 4 weeks of training in your first 3 years.

After you have completed your development (3 years) you can then look to become a driver if the station needs you to.

Once your development is completed, you can start working towards being in charge at an incident (Incident Commander) or becoming one of the managers (Crew Manager or Watch Manager).

On-call firefighters need to live or work close to an on-call fire station so they are able to respond quickly to emergencies. See list of on-call stations on main webpage.

If you don’t already have an English and Maths qualification you will need to complete our online tests. Your Maths and English will be assessed as part of the application process although you won’t be disadvantaged if you don’t already hold the qualifications.

To join you need to participate in a bleep test and we maintain fitness with the Chester treadmill test, which is a brisk paced walking test, which involved a set speed with an increase in incline every few minutes.

You will need to be aged 18 or over (no upper age limit), and will need to pass an eye sight test and a medical screening.

You are required to complete a medical and your medical history will be taken into account. If you would like to discuss this further you can contact your local on-call support officer.

Many of our on-call firefighters fit in their firefighter duties around their primary jobs. Others make arrangements with their employer to leave work should they need to attend an emergency.

If you are employed, we suggest having a conversation with your employer about being allowed to leave work.

You need to live or work close to a fire station. You are responding to an emergency so you need to consider how long it would take to get there.

We ask that you cover a minimum of 50 hours a week. There is no set maximum but we need you to maintain a healthy work/life balance and also consider your primary employment.

Yes, you need to maintain your fitness too as we have regular fitness tests.

To join you need to participate in a bleep test and we maintain fitness with the Chester treadmill test.

Yes, you will be entitled to 4 weeks holiday a year which rises to 5 after 5 years of service.

No, but you will need to be able to get to a station quickly when required.