The job of a modern firefighter is far more diverse and varied than you might realise. When you ask most people about the fire and rescue service what usually comes to mind is the job we do at emergencies. Although this is still a really important part of the role, firefighters provide so much more to the community than just emergency response.
A huge part of our work is focused on providing advice to local people about how they can keep themselves safe. It’s often said that prevention is better than cure so we now spend a great deal of time going into people’s homes, businesses and schools to provide advice and education. This type of work has played a huge part in reducing the number of people who are killed in fires over the past decades.
We also take steps to keep people safe through our work in areas such as fire safety. This part of our role includes making sure businesses are meeting their legal responsibilities to reduce risk to members of the public and taking enforcement action where they don’t.
When someone rings 999 and desperately needs our help we are ready to respond to a wide range of emergencies - and it’s not just fires we go to. We now have the skills and training to deal with everything from road traffic collisions, chemical incidents, rope rescues, rescues from water, animal rescues, provide medical care and of course fight fires and rescue those in danger.
Remind you of anyone?
All of our staff are just ordinary people, who do extraordinary things when they come to work. To be a firefighter you need to have great communication skills, you need to be driven and committed, you need to be a problem solver, you need to be physically fit but most of all you need to be someone who cares deeply about making a difference in your community. If that sounds like you, then yes you can be a firefighter.
What is an ‘On-Call’ firefighter?
On-Call firefighters respond to fires and emergency calls using the same appliances and equipment as wholetime firefighters; the difference is that On-Call firefighters respond from their homes or work places rather than a fire station.
The On-Call role offers flexible working hours and could suit people with full or part time jobs, or those with childcare responsibilities. You can choose whether to provide part cover (days, nights and weekends), or full cover (approximately 24/7). It’s like having a part-time job – you commit to certain hours and you get paid for it.