Graduation Group Picture

On-call firefighters graduate at passing out ceremony

On-call firefighters were the guests of honour at an Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) passing out parade on Friday (19/10).

The event was held to mark the achievement of the six men and women who have become fully operational firefighters over the last two months, along with three firefighters who had missed previous graduation ceremonies.

On-call firefighters train in three modules during their development, attend a weekly drill night and make themselves available for agreed hours around jobs, family responsibilities and other commitments.

Each firefighter comes from a unique background, with this cohort working as a sports therapist, builder, dog trainer, driver trainer, scientist and supermarket worker.

The ceremony was attended by Chief Fire Officer Mick Crennell and Avon Fire Authority Chairman Donald Davies, along with friends and family.

Simon Hatch, Group Manager for Learning and Development, said: “It is a great pleasure to welcome the next generation of on-call firefighters.

“These people, who all have other jobs or commitments, are an inspiration and a testament to what is at the heart of every firefighter – the desire to help others.

“The skills that these people have learned and honed will help keep the people of Avon safe for years to come.”

On-call stations are a key part of AF&RS in areas such as Pill, Portishead, Winscombe, Chew and beyond.

In total, the Service has 14 stations that are operated either partly or fully by on-call firefighters.

Firefighters at these stations make themselves available for cover, which is the time each week they would be able to respond.

On average they’ll be called out about two to three times a week dependant on the station area and can cover anything from fires, road traffic collisions or animal rescues.

David Hodges, On-Call Group Manager for AF&RS: “On-call stations provide critical fire cover over a large part of our response area.

“These firefighters are trained to the same standards are their full-time colleagues and we welcome these new firefighters as they transition from training to providing operational cover in their communities.”

Find out about on-call recruitment, visit