Switchboard Administrator

Based at:  Fire Service Headquarters, Valley Road, Portishead BS20 8JJ

Contract:  Fixed Term Appointment (12 months)

Hours:  37 hours

Salary:  Hay 11 (£19,650 - £20,043 per annum)

Closing date: Noon on Thursday 26th May 2022


An exciting opportunity has arisen to join Avon Fire and Rescue Service as a Switchboard Administrator. Within this role, you will provide an effective telephone switchboard service for Avon Fire & Rescue Service, allowing the service to facilitate an efficient and effective operation ensuring that the appropriate corporate image is continuously projected.

This is a key role, in which you will work as part of an integrated team, providing administrative support within the Directorate, enabling it to achieve its objectives and targets through providing a proactive and efficient telephone service to external and internal customers.  This will include providing sound information to callers on a variety of issues including operational and corporate events and ensuring that the diary of the whereabouts of key staff is constantly maintained.

The Switchboard Administrator is required to manage the car pool booking system and is responsible for a range of administrative duties, including obtaining and collating information, data input, statistics and maintenance of the office filing system.


Other duties associated to this role include; ensuring the Switchboard calendar system is maintained and the managing of day to day resources in relevant support units.  Further details of the extensive list of duties and responsibilities associated to this role are enclosed in the job description.


If you have the ability to communicate and collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders, possess 3 GCSE passes at level 4 (grade C) or equivalent in English, Mathematics and IT and hold experience of inputting and extracting data in various formats then this could be for the new opportunity awaiting you.


In return, we will offer you 24 days annual holiday (plus public holidays), enrolment into the Local Government Pension Scheme, and access to our Cycle to Work and Childcare Voucher schemes. Based at our newly developed Headquarters in Portishead, surrounded by a nature trail and memorial garden (for those quiet moments), you will also have access to kitchen, restaurant and coffee bar facilities, multi-gym, sports hall, and free parking.


Please note - as this post is based at our new Headquarters which we share with Avon & Somerset Police, the successful applicant will be required to undergo a security clearance check.


To see the full duties of the role and candidate criteria required please see the job description provided.


How to apply:


The job description and application is available to download on our website https://www.yesyoucan.careers/. Once you have read the job description please complete the application form telling us how you meet the requirements of the role - tell us how your skills, qualifications and experience match those required for this role, and provide examples wherever you can. The information you give us will assist us in our shortlisting process.


Completed applications must be submitted to Human Resources, Avon Fire & Rescue Service, Police & Fire Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road, Portishead, Bristol BS20 8JJ by the closing date and time. Alternatively, you can email your application to recruitment@avonfire.gov.uk. Late applications will not be accepted. 


Please quote job reference number 1807 [JD number] on any communications. Thank you.

Job description






JOB TITLE:   Switchboard/Administrator

DIRECTORATE:   Corporate Services

UNIT:                   Administrative Services

POST NO:     1806/1807

GRADE:               H11



1.         JOB PURPOSE


1.1       To provide an effective telephone switchboard service for the Service, to facilitate its efficient and effective operation and to help project an appropriate corporate image.


1.2       To work as part of an integrated team and provide administrative support within the Directorate to enable it to achieve its objectives and targets.


2.         Background


    1. Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AFRS) serves the Unitary Authority areas of Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with fire and rescue stations and office locations in each area.  It is a Combined Fire & Rescue Authority, consisting of elected members drawn from the above four authorities.  Our Headquarters is based at Portishead, with Area Offices in Bristol, Bath, Weston-super-Mare, Yate and Lansdown.  In total, there are twenty-three fire & rescue stations, serving an area of approximately 133,245 hectares with a population of around 983,000.


2.2.      You will work within a small administrative team, providing support to the   

            Directorates as required, primarily at Service headquarters.




    1. Maintain a proactive and efficient telephone service by:


  • being aware of current and upcoming Community/Fire Safety themes, operational and corporate events, and promotions, liaising with relevant staff to gain an understanding of the issues in order to provide sound information to callers. 


  • helping to maintain the diary of the whereabouts of key staff, including details of meetings taking place.


    1. Maintain the Switchboard calendar system, liaising with colleagues to ensure cover is provided at all times.  This includes collection/delivery of post.


    1. Manage the day to day resources in relevant Support Units, including the provision of video-conferencing and internet access. Check that equipment is serviceable and provide guidance to users on their operation, when required.


    1. Provide a car pool booking system; receiving requests for car use, allocating keys to Avon F&RS personnel, ensuring that the keys are returned to the Switchboard Operator in a timely manner and reporting faults to Workshops, arranging for collection/return of vehicles.


    1. Provide an answering service for the telephone switchboard as necessary to maintain an effective and efficient service for the Organisation.


    1. Take messages for unavailable staff if required, providing that this does not adversely affect the efficient answering of other calls to the main switchboard.


    1. Redirect emergency calls (received in error) to Service Control promptly.


    1. Report technical faults with the switchboard system to the IT helpdesk and faults with other equipment to the Administrative Services Manager as soon as practicable in order to maintain essential services.


    1. Maintain up to date guidance notes to ensure the successful training of Switchboard duties for staff as required. The training will be carried out by the post holder.


    1. Be responsible for the receipt of deliveries to Service Delivery HQ by ensuring that the Security Gate is informed of expected deliveries and inform colleagues of their arrival.  This includes keeping accurate records of deliveries and their signed collection by members of staff.


    1. Carry out administrative duties as necessary to maintain continuity of service and to meet organisational deadlines.  This will include obtaining and collating information, data input and retrieval, basic statistics, and liaising with staff in other sections/directorates.


    1. Maintain office filing systems, including both manual and computerised ensuring all files contain relevant and accurate information.  Create new files as and when required being aware of the need to undertake cross-referencing where appropriate.


    1. Input accurate information onto CFRMIS database ensuring that this is kept up to date.


    1. Operate or assist employees in using the full range of reprographic facilities (photocopier, printing and binding).


    1. Collect and deliver post to the Avon & Somerset post room and circulate to staff post drop off points.




    1. Ensure that you perform all duties in accordance with the principles and requirements of Data Protection legislation.


    1. Ensure you maintain an awareness of Health and Safety Regulations in relation to duties and tasks being undertaken and report any situations or incidents which could be   considered hazardous. All employees have a responsibility for their own safety and must   not endanger that of colleagues/visitors in the workplace or the public.


    1. Ensure that, both in your dealings with other employees and with members of the public,         you adhere to the principles and standards outlined in the Equality and Fairness Policy.   You are responsible for making your supervisor aware of literature, language or behaviour that offends against that policy and the dignity of personnel.


    1. Carry out such other duties as may reasonably be required in relation to a post of this   nature, without prejudice to the right to seek a re-evaluation of the post.


    1. This Job Description contains only the main accountabilities relating to the post and does not describe in detail all the duties required to carry them out.




    1. Overall supervision and direction will be received from the Administrative Services Manager who will determine priorities and rearrange work as necessary at peak times.  You will also undertake work direct for other staff within the Directorate when required.  When producing work for Unit Managers or their staff, you will need to liaise directly with them to clarify work requirements.  On a daily basis, you will need to work in collaboration with your colleagues in the Unit to maintain continuity of services and to meet deadlines.


    1. The Corporate Communication Unit will provide guidance on corporate style and image in relation to the provision of Switchboard services.





  • 3 GCSE passes at Grade C or above (or equivalent) including English Language or functional skills Level 2 in English, Mathematics and IT.
  • Computer literate, preferably with experience of inputting and extracting data in various formats. 



  • Relevant administrative experience and experience of operating a main switchboard, however training will be provided.
  • The ability to communicate effectively at all levels and be able to project an appropriate corporate image. 
  • Evidence of the ability to prioritise, work to deadlines and manage time effectively. 
  • Previous experience of working as an integrated team member and working with little or no direct supervision from time to time. 
  • Experience of using the Microsoft Office Suite.




6.1       As the first point of contact with the public and outside organisations, you will play a key role in conveying an appropriate image of the Service. You are responsible for the switchboard function, which is crucial to routing callers to relevant staff efficiently and courteously, or for taking messages, where appropriate, in their absence.  Occasionally, emergency (999) calls need to be transferred to Service Control to ensure prompt action.





    1. In the interests of the efficiency of the Service, you may be required to work from any base within the Service area, for which appropriate allowances will be made available.
    2. You will be expected to attain a Business Administration qualification Level 2 whilst in the first two years of appointment.


For the use of the Human Resources Unit only:


 Date approved:


 Date effective:  

To be signed by postholder:





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