Reserve Firefighters

Based at:            Various locations across the Avon area

Contract:            Casual

Hours:                 Zero hour contract

Salary:                 £11.05 per hour (initial training phase)
                             £15.00 per hour (for shifts worked)
                             Allowance per shift (to compensate for meal expenses, travel time/expenses and shift working)
                                   £50.00 if you live within the Avon Fire & Rescue Service boundary
                                   £75.00 if you live outside the boundary

                             Retention allowance paid every 6 months

Closing date:     Ongoing


We have a number of vacancies for Reserve Firefighters to be trained in basic defensive fire fighting. These staff will only be used to provide resilience support during any periods of unforeseen staff shortages which will include periods of strike action.  You will provide an invaluable role and will help to keep our communities safe.  The job is extremely rewarding and you will gain a wide range of skills and training which we hope will assist in your personal development. 

You will be paid for 12 hours for every shift worked, although the actual hours worked are likely to be shorter. 

You will be required to attend an initial three day basic training programme (dates to be confirmed) and will also be expected to attend 2 days refresher training every year (one every 6 months) plus a training exercise each year. Training is paid at the standard hourly rate and the dates will be published in advance for you to book a place to suit your availability. 

Applicants must live within the Avon Fire & Rescue Service area or within a 25 mile radius of our boundary. You must possess a driving licence and have access to your own transport.

An LGV driving licence would be an advantage as this may enable you to receive additional training to equip you to drive a Fire Appliance. 

If you possess military or operational managerial experience this would also be an advantage.  We will select some Reserve Firefighters to undertake additional training to enable them to assume the role of operational incident managers.    

Upon successful completion of the basic training course you will be issued a casual contract of employment. You will normally be given a minimum of seven days’ notice of any work or training commitments. We do not guarantee to provide work as Reserve Firefighters will only be called upon in exceptional situations if we experience any unexpected shortfalls in staffing. 

You must have a high level of physical strength and fitness, work well as part of a team be able to follow instructions and remain calm under pressure. The training is intensive and requires the ability to acquire and retain technical information, follow clear instructions and carry out practical tests including putting up ladders, rolling out hose and carrying equipment. The ideal candidate will have a balance of academic and practical skills and be able to communicate effectively.   There is no upper age limit but you must be aged 18 before the start of the training course.

General information

The selection process will include a range of practical physical tests to assess your ability to utilise and work with fire service equipment in a safe and controlled manner. 

You may also be required to take a fitness and strength test and complete a medical/health check process. Job offers will be made to applicants who pass all stages of the selection process.

Please note that working as a Reserve Firefighter does not give you priority access into any other vacancies within Avon Fire & Rescue Service but will provide you with a basic insight into the operational role.

How to apply:

Download and complete the application form below.

Applications can be emailed to or printed and posted to Human Resources, Avon Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters, Valley Road, Portishead, Bristol BS20 8JJ.

We have a number of vacancies and will assess applications as they are received.

For further information please contact Human Resources on 01179 262061 or email

Documents and forms