What is a Retained Firefighter?

What functions does a Retained Firefighter perform?

Who are Retained Firefighters?

Retained firefighters are men and women who are on call to respond to a range of emergencies. Many retained firefighters have other full or part-time jobs but when the call comes they are ready to drop whatever they are doing and become part of a team, ready to face any emergency. Although part-time, Retained Firefighters are fully trained and capable of saving life and property.

What it means to be a Retained Firefighter:

When a call is received for the Fire Brigade, the alerters for a particular brigade are activated and the firefighters, who each carry an alerter, respond to the fire station immediately and get to work. A Retained Firefighter could be at work or at home in bed but whenever the call comes in, they are required to make their way to the station as quickly and as safely as possible and get to work.

All applicants for the position of Retained Firefighter must have the ability to respond to the fire station within 5 minutes of a call being sent to their pager.  In most cases this will mean being within one mile from the station when you are providing cover.

Retained Firefighters are required to be available for 24 weeks a year, with an option to be available more frequently on a voluntary basis.

What do Retained Firefighters do?

A firefighter can be called upon to tackle a wide range of emergency situations where problem solving skills and initiative will be vital to resolve issues quickly and calmly. Incidents vary from firefighting and rescuing people from burning buildings to dealing with chemical incidents and road traffic collisions. A sensitive approach will be required when dealing with members of the public who may be distressed and confused.

All new recruits undergo extensive initial training to equip them with the skills to be a Retained Firefighter. As well as responding to emergency calls and undertaking community fire safety initiatives, Retained Firefighters attend weekly training nights to maintain competency levels and undertake routine checks on their equipment.

Is firefighting for you?

  • Are you someone who can always be relied on to be somewhere on time?
  • Can you get on with people from different backgrounds and cultures?
  • Are you able to meet the demands of working in a disciplined uniformed service?
  • Do you have the sensitivity to deal with members of the public when they are distressed, confused or being obstructive?
  • Are you committed to maintaining and developing your skills? Are you prepared to study on top of your normal working day?
  • Are you mechanically adept with good dexterity and co-ordination?
  • Can you contribute to and work within a team?
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