Employer Benefits

Allowing your staff to work with Avon Fire and Rescue Service bring various employer benefits. As well as helping keep your community safe and our Service strong, your staff will also improve key personal skills such as how to work well in a team, quick-thinking, accurate communications, and using initiative and taking responsibility.

Being an on-call firefighter also requires commitment and self-discipline as they live our values to be inclusive, transparent respectful, ambitious, courageous and honest.

Firefighters are trained in a range of skills, such as trauma response, manual handling, health and safety elements and in some circumstances nationally recognised educational/vocational qualifications as well as an LGV license.

The following may also be available under certain circumstances:

Instructor / Teaching Courses

  • Certificate in Lifelong Learning
  • Instructor Courses in various Firefighting Elements

Health and Safety (IOSH) – value £390

Trauma Risk Management Practitioner

  • Stress awareness

Leadership Courses

  • Incident Commander Training
  • Institute of Leadership & Management Diploma – value £164

First Aid

  • Qualsafe Level 3 Award in Rescue Trauma and Casualty Care
    • This is a Prehospital Care Qualification

Staff retention

Staff who are encouraged to pursue passions like this report feeling more loyalty to their employer for trusting them, and it makes them a more motivated and committed employee.

Employees able to fulfil their ambitions and potential are usually happier and more productive in the workplace.

It encourages staff to stay within a company even if more hours are not available to be taken due to the extra income gained from being an on-call firefighter. This will be a minimum of £3,700 if they maintain their commitments and once out of their development period.

Enhance your reputation

As an employer you can feel proud you have played a vital role in making the community safer. Allowing your staff to work with us also enhances the reputation of your business within the local community thanks to the public spirited gesture.

Occupational health support

AF&RS offer our on-call firefighters use of Occupational Health support, so if they have any health worries they can be addressed quickly, potentially reducing days off due to sickness.

Watch the video below to hear from a Managing Director who supports a member of his staff as an on-call firefighter

Key facts

  • On-call firefighters are people who carry out their daily lives just like anyone else, with the exception that when available they answer emergency calls
  • On-call firefighters are available to respond on average from 84 hours (part cover) to 120 hours (full cover) (including weekdays, evenings and weekends).
  • To be on-call firefighter’s individuals must live or work within 5 minutes of the station.
  • On-call firefighters commit to attending weekly evening drill sessions at their station.
  • On average on-call firefighters are called out about 2-3 times per week depending on the area.
  • At some incidents, an on-call firefighter could return to work in as little as 20 minutes.
  • They are an invaluable part of the team and keep their local communities safe.
  • Many on-call firefighters are in full time employment with local employers who are keen to support their community. They are just like any other employee, except they may be on standby for some of their normal working hours.

The impact on your business

The average number of call outs for an on-call firefighter is about two or three times a week, usually for about an hour.

It is difficult to predict how often an individual firefighter might get called out and it also depends on the hours of availability each individual provides.

On-call firefighters provide their hours of availability one week in advance. There is some flexibility in the system, so should a busy week at work arise or urgent deadlines loom, then your business takes priority.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service currently offer two contract options to on-call Firefighters:

  1. Part cover contract of a minimum of 84 hours a week or;
  2. Full cover contract of a minimum of 120 hours a week.

But what does this actually mean for your business?

“Cover” refers to the time that a person says they are able to commit each week to respond to their Station, if required. Importantly, this does not equate to the actual hours that they will do that week. There is a maximum “cover” of 168 hours per week.

On-call firefighters typically respond either from home or a workplace which is required to be located within 5 minutes of the on-call station.

Could you release an employee to become an On-Call Firefighter?

We understand releasing an employee as an on-call firefighter is an important decision. It could not happen without your agreement and you need to know how it would work to enable you to make an informed decision and feel confident about supporting your community in this way.

It may be as an employer, you have sufficient flexibility to enable staff to be released to attend emergency incidents when required.

However, we do realise some employers do not have the capacity to commit to releasing members of their staff.

We would be happy to discuss possible options available to support on-call firefighters in your employment for example, flexibility to enable on-call firefighters to attend scheduled training.

For more information, get in touch.