Watch Manager celebrates 30 years’ service and encourages people to become an on-call firefighter

A Watch Manager who recently celebrated three decades of serving communities in Staffordshire is encouraging people to join the fire service as an on-call firefighter and make a difference.

It was back in 1993 when Paul Danby joined Brewood Community Fire Station as an on-call firefighter.  

At the time of joining, Paul was working as a carpenter. It was encouragement and support from his wife and family that led to him taking up the opportunity of joining us.  

Paul became a Watch Manager in 2002, and 31 years later, his dedication and passion remains the same and he is urging people to consider a career as an on-call firefighter.

“By becoming an on-call firefighter, you will learn valuable life-skills and there will be opportunities for career progression at the service.

“The support Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service provide is second to none and you will feel part of the team straight away when you first join.

 “You’ll be able build your confidence, learn to work in a team, but most importantly, make a difference to local communities and help those in their hour of need.”

On-call firefighters provide ‘on-call’ cover to their local fire station and respond to a range of emergencies and incidents as well as community initiatives.

Unlike wholetime firefighters, on-call firefighters are not based at the fire station 24 hours a day. When an emergency occurs, they will be notified by an alerter that they need to go to their fire station within five minutes.

Paul said: “One job I was called to involved a single-vehicle collision with a woman on the A449. We were the first emergency services to arrive at the scene.

“I carried out life-saving CPR on the woman and she was then taken to hospital by paramedics.

“Thankfully, she survived.

“Another incident that stands out was being called to a barn fire on Boxing Day on the A5 with tonnes of hay on fire.

“The fire had spread to a cattle shed. We were able to rescue more than 30 cows as well as sheep in time.”

Whilst admitting there has been plenty of ups and downs throughout his career as an on-call firefighter, the excitement for the role has always been there for Paul.

“I’ve loved every minute of my 30 years’ at the fire service and the adrenaline in going to jobs has been the same.

“We’re able to make a difference to people’s lives everyday and that gives me such a buzz.

“From showing school pupils and Scouts around fire stations to giving fire prevention advice to vulnerable people, it feels rewarding knowing you’re making a difference.

“It’s been an incredible journey to date and I’m now delivering training to firefighters at the fire service and have qualifications in health and safety and also in incident command.

“There really are career progression opportunities at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, and you never know, by joining the fire service it could change your life.”

We are recruiting for on-call firefighters in some areas of the county.

To find out more and to send in an application, visit: On-call firefighter recruitment (