Visit the main ECFRS website

Volunteers make a vital contribution to the work of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

Do you enjoy meeting new people and having new challenges?

Do you have spare time that you want to use to make your community safer?

Our Frequently Asked Questions

Who can volunteer?

There are various opportunities for people who share our values and vision, and we are committed to ensuring equal opportunity for everyone who volunteers with us.

If you are legally entitled to work in the UK and over the age of 18 years old, you can apply to be an Essex Fire Volunteer. We have volunteers who are former firefighters, retired, unemployed, employed, with disabilities and from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds. We aim to find a volunteering role to suit the individual, and we screen all volunteers who have contact with vulnerable people.

If you are under 18, then check out Essex Fire Cadets. Please see the website for more details and an application form.

http://www.essex-fire.gov.uk/Community_Development/Fire_Cadets/

What can I do?

There are a variety of roles available to suit your skills, experience and the time you are able to give – Home Safety Volunteers, Community Support Volunteers and Essex Fire Museum Volunteers. Please see the volunteer roles information to see what each of these varied roles entail. If you would like more information on each of these roles or would like to discuss volunteering opportunities which would most suit your skills and experience, please contact the Volunteer Manager, on 01376 576209 or email volunteers@essex-fire.gov.uk

Unfortunately we do not offer work experience within the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, but if you interested in being an on-call firefighter then more information on this paid position can be found at.
https://join.essex-fire.gov.uk/

If the roles above don’t seem to be what you are looking for then please look at Volunteer Essex website which will provide other ways for you to support your local community. Volunteer Essex provides a network of local offices which offer volunteering opportunities from hundreds of local charities. To contact your local office please visit:
https://www.volunteeressex.org/

How much time do I need to give?

For most of the voluntary roles we ask for around half a day a week – morning or afternoon. Of course you can do more; if you have the time we can certainly keep you busy! Some of the roles require occasional weekend or evening shifts, but we are flexible and respect that our volunteers have other commitments too – we are grateful of any time you able to give.

However much time you have to offer, a few hours a week or a few hours a day, you will be providing us with invaluable support by offering additional skills, knowledge and resources to help us do more than we have ever done before to keep Essex safe.
We happily provide references for volunteers who have committed a significant amount of time with us over at least 6 months.

How do I become a volunteer?

Volunteering can give you the opportunity to try something new, gain experience, develop skills, improve your career prospects, build confidence and meet new people. If you would like to be involved in something worthwhile and rewarding, Essex Fire Volunteers could be for you.

All our volunteers complete a full application form, interview, occupational check and must provide work or character references to cover at least the last 3 years. Some of our roles require an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. There are also mandatory training sessions before volunteering can start – one or two days dependent on the role. This may sound a lot, but we want to make sure all our volunteers feel they have all the necessary support and knowledge they need to undertake their volunteer role.

Please read the role descriptions and supporting information before completing your application. Application forms can be completed electronically or printed off and hand written.  Please submit to:

Post:?
Volunteer Department
Community Safety
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service
Kelvedon Park,
Essex
CM8 3HB

Email: volunteers@essex-fire.gov.uk

If you would like more information about the scheme or the roles, or would like some help completing your application form contact us by telephone: 01376 576209.

What training will I receive?

We recognise the importance of training and support in order to equip you with the necessary information and skills to carry out roles. We will not ask you do something without adequate training and making sure you are fully prepared for the role you will be undertaking.

Each role has compulsory training. Volunteer Induction, a whole-day session is required for all roles. There is also respective role training. Role training for Home Safety Volunteers is an evening course, but other roles will receive ‘in role’ training. Training requirements are provided on confirmation of the role you are looking to do.
After you have attended the induction, you will be teamed up with an experienced volunteer/s who will be able to provide you with support and guidance. Other training opportunities include Emergency First Aid, service vehicle driving and 4×4 driving.

There are also opportunities for you to get involved in the training of new volunteers, as a coach or buddy to provide the new recruits the benefit of your experience as an Essex Fire Volunteer.

Do I need special equipment or clothing?

Essex Fire Volunteers are provided with all the equipment and uniform that is needed to carry out roles safely and effectively. We expect the same high level of integrity and commitment that is required of all Essex County Fire and Rescue Service staff.  The type of equipment and uniform varies depending on the role, but we will always ensure you have everything you need.

Will I be paid expenses?

We don’t expect volunteers to be out of pocket when working with us – we reimburse travel and out-of-pocket expenses.

If I am receiving benefits, will this affect my payments?

You are free to volunteer while you are receiving benefits, as long as the work you do is unpaid and you meet the rules of your benefit. There are no limits on the amount of time you can volunteer for, as long as you continue to meet the conditions of the benefit or tax credit you are receiving.

If you are unsure it is always best to check with your personal adviser before you start volunteering.

Will I be insured?

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service (ECFRS) has Employer’s Liability Insurance. This provides insurance against liability for injury and disease experienced by volunteers or staff as a direct result of their involvement with ECFRS.

As a registered volunteer you are also covered by our public liability insurance when carrying out your volunteer duties on our behalf. This covers out legal liability to pay compensation for injuries or illness to a third party or damage to the property of third parties which are due to ECFRS negligence.

It is important to note that if you’re involved in an activity for ECFRS that involves using your car, you must inform your own insurers. Most insurance companies agree to cover car journeys at no extra charge – but check this with your own insurance company. Your car will not be covered by the ECFRS insurance.

Volunteers may be required to carry tools and equipment in their vehicle when undertaking their role, including step ladders. It is important that the vehicle used when undertaking your role, is suitable for safely carrying this equipment. On an annual basis, ECFRS will ask to see evidence of a valid insurance certificate, driving licence and MOT certificate where relevant.

Will I have a contract?

You don’t have a contract of employment as a volunteer, so you don’t have the same rights as an employee. However, you will be required to sign a volunteer agreement that explains what you can expect from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, and what we expect from you in terms of outlining the expected standards of behaviours and code of conduct.

We operate a probationary period (normally 3 months, but this can be amended according to needs) to enable both volunteers and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service to see whether the volunteer role is suitable.

Join our volunteering team

Our volunteers offer their skills, knowledge and time to a variety of activities, including home safety visits, community initiatives, heritage and education events, road safety and crime reduction activity, which make our communities safer. Their efforts support Essex County Fire and Rescue Service in fire and crime prevention across the county and make a real difference to the people of Essex.

 

View our volunteering roles

Home Safety Volunteers

Home Safety Volunteers carry out home safety visits to members of the public, giving out home safety advice and fitting smoke alarms. They can also participate in local safety promotion events, activities to promote and generate home safety visits.

Find Out More

Community Support Volunteers

Community Support Volunteers (CSV) work with officers, firefighters and staff to support the Safer Communities department. They assist and represent the Service at public events, provide home fire safety information to the public, attend and facilitate safety events and assist with After Incident Response exercises. CSVs also assist the RTC Reduction department with a variety of events, often in partnership...

Find Out More

Essex Fire Museum Volunteers

The Arts Council accredited Essex Fire Museum, in Grays, gives a fascinating look at the history of the Essex Fire Service. Alongside our collections officer, our team of volunteers manage the collections, provide educational visits and run Family Fun Days and Heritage Open Days.

Find Out More