Retained firefighters

Do you have what it takes to be extraordinary?

These guys do:

Retained firefighters are an integral part of Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service. Although not based on fire stations, they usually live or work in their local community and carry a pager, so when they get the call, they are ready to respond to any emergency.

As part of the role, they receive an annual wage plus additional payments for attending drill nights and incidents. On average, retained firefighters provide between 40 and 120 hours per week to serve their local community.

Applicants to the role come from all walks of life. The most important attributes are common sense, self-motivation, compassion and team work.

Essential requirements for the role:

  • You must be able to reach the station you will work at within five minutes of a call
  • Be aged 18 and over
  • Be a team player
  • Attend a drill night once a week
  • Be passionate about serving your community.

So if you think you have what it takes and you live, or work within five minutes of our stations then..

Find out more

Do you want to see if you have what it takes to join Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service? Why not come along to one of our taster days. You will have the opportunity to try out some of our drills, meet our crews, find out what it’s like to be part of Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and ask any questions you may have.

Retained stations

We are currently accepting applications at the stations listed in the table below:

StationContact for queriesContact telephone
AtherstoneMark Allen(01827) 713451
BedworthJohn Wilson(02476) 314376
BidfordKeith Gilks(01789) 293271
ColeshillMark Allen(01675) 462007
Fenny ComptonCecil Benjamin(01788) 572727
Henley in ArdenKeith Gilks(01564) 792223
KenilworthAndrew Goodman(01926) 852223
PolesworthMichelle Hickmot(01675) 462007
ShipstonKeith Gilks(01789) 293271
SouthamCecil Benjamin(01788) 572727
Stratford upon AvonKeith Gilks(01789) 293271
WellesbourneAndrew Goodman(01789) 841629

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Firefighters must be well trained, skilled and knowledgeable if they are to work safely and effectively in the wide range of operational incidents they are called upon to attend.

Initial training gives new firefighters the necessary basic core competencies to enable them to safely attend incidents. Training is delivered in a number of modules spread out over a firefighters first three years of service – although some retained firefighters are able to complete the programme more quickly than this. The main modules undertaken are:

  • Retained firefighter initial.
  • Breathing apparatus initial.
  • Fire behaviour and tactical firefighting development.
  • Tactical ventilation (PPV) initial.
  • Road traffic collision (RTC) development.
  • Hazardous materials and environmental protection.
  • Safe working at height; level 1.
  • Water rescue.
  • Manual handling; and
  • Radio communication.

Unit accreditation of units three and four of the ‘Firefighters NVQ’ (Save and Preserve Endangered Life and Resolve Operational Incidents) will also be undertaken during your first three years.

Ongoing training involves firefighters attending their station for a two-hour drill (training) period once a week during the evening.

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How much cover do I need to give?

We have a flexible approach to the provision of cover recognizing that everyone needs to maintain a healthy work/life balance. The amount of cover provided can vary between 40 and 120 hours per week – although most of our on-call firefighters provide around 80 hours each week.

How often will I be called out?

On average you’ll be called out about two-three times a week although the station areas do vary quite a lot and some are much busier or quieter than others. There can also be a considerable seasonal variation, hot summers will give rise to lots of grass and crop fires, and prolonged wet periods may bring lots of flooding incidents. No two days or calls are ever the same!

What can I do when I’m on call?

You can pretty much lead your normal life – go to the shops or visiting relatives and the like, but you must make sure that you carry your pager and that you can still get to the station within five minutes of a call. The Service does have a drugs and alcohol policy which is enforced by ‘for cause’ testing, and you must therefore be fit for duty whenever you are on call.

What if I can’t do the same hours every week or I need to change the hours I do?

You need to commit to a certain number of hours every week, but there will be some flexibility depending on the availability of the rest of the team to change hours of cover.

Do I need any qualifications?

No, but you will need to pass selection tests.

Why are you recruiting for retained firefighters?

As part of the Fire and Rescue Service modernisation agenda, we have considered different approaches to crewing our fire stations and the associated duty systems. Our aim is to be more flexible with the use of our full-time and retained firefighters.

We need to consider both the urban developments and rural communities in providing operational response to emergency situations as well as proactive community safety activities.

We have already implemented policies that allow the transfer of our firefighters across a range of duty systems and to be located at different stations around Warwickshire.

We have recently recruited some more full-time firefighters into our urban areas and now there is a need to provide both full-time and retained firefighters into some of the rural parts of Warwickshire.

With this in mind we want to recruit retained firefighters to maintain some of our part-time fire stations at their required staffing levels. We also intend to continue to enhance the innovative and flexible ways in which we deploy our full-time firefighters in support of rural communities. Primarily this will include deploying a small number of full-time firefighters into part-time station areas to: undertake community fire safety activities, gather operational information, supplement day-time fire cover arrangements and to undertake other routine, station-based activities.

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For any further enquiries with regards to Retained Duty Firefighter positions, please contact Leeanna Kostka on (01926) 852223.

This short clip from the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) explains the benefits of the role – Watch this video on YouTube

Retained firefighters was last updated on February 13, 2019.