Skip to main content
Visit the main ECFRS website
Apply to be an on-call firefighter

Many of our on-call firefighters are in full time employment, either self-employed or with a local business.

Because there’s a requirement for on-call firefighters to stay within five minutes of the fire station our firefighters go about their day job as usual, and have an arrangement in place with their employer where they can be released and attend an incident when called out by the fire service.

The way each business works the arrangement is up to them – sometimes they will stop payment when they are called to an incident, other times the employee will make the time up at a later date, or there might be another agreement entirely.

If you’re interested in finding out more about releasing an employee to become an on-call firefighter call 01376 576698 or email oncall.recruitment@essex-fire.gov.uk

How would my business benefit?

On-call firefighters are highly trained professionals who can bring added value to your business. They gain many transferable skills which can be useful in any workplace. Your business could also gain recognition and a positive reputation for supporting your local community.

Is there any disadvantages to my business?

Your employee will need to leave immediately when they are called to an incident and if their work is flexible they could make up for the time they lost once they return from an incident. There is the option to book as unavailable for a call out if they are working on something urgent that can’t be interrupted.

Is there any cost?

There are no direct costs to supporting an employee to become an on-call firefighter. An indirect cost could be the time lost when your employee is not there – how you choose to work around this can be agreed at a local level.

How often would they be called out?

It’s impossible to predict exactly how often an individual firefighter might get called out, but check out the number of incidents we attended in previous years.

Remember, the numbers are the total call out across daytime, evenings and weekend.

How do I find out more?

If you’re interested in finding out more about releasing an employee to become an on-call firefighter call 01376 576698 or email oncall.recruitment@essex-fire.gov.uk.

Bradley Valentine

Bradley Valentine works full time for a removals company...

Bradley Valentine works full time for a removals company and has been an on-call firefighter at Great Baddow Fire Station for a year and a half.

He always wanted to be a firefighter after firefighters saved his life following a serious road traffic collision when he was 10-years-old. 

Bradley was worried that he couldn’t join because he is dyslexic.

“It’s been the complete opposite,” says Bradley. “Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has been amazing. They have helped me so much and were able to give me support for the written and practice assessments. 

“I would recommend the role to anyone, even if you have got disabilities. It shouldn’t affect you at all. It’s such an incredible feeling knowing that you’ve saved a life and are helping people. 

“If you’ve got the time and you want to give some time and give something back to the community, then apply. You can come in and have a look at the station to see what the role entails and go from there.

Bradley is able to provide cover during the evenings and weekends. If you live or work within 5 minutes of Great Baddow Fire Station like Teresa, you could be an on-call firefighter. 

Find out more at essex-fire.gov.uk/gb

Teresa Claxton

Self-employed hairdresser Teresa Claxton is paid to protect her...

Self-employed hairdresser Teresa Claxton is paid to protect her community as an on-call firefighter at Great Baddow Fire Station.

She received a leaflet through her door one day from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service advertising an on-call firefighter role in Great Baddow and decided to apply.

She said: “It took me a whole year to get to the fitness standard but it was lockdown so I had plenty of time to train. You’ve got to get fit for the role. I had to learn to run, learn to lift and getting up the ladders has been a challenge climbing that height. But I’ve done it, and it’s the best job.

“The role is exhilarating, every day has been a challenge but it’s good, I like a challenge. Being an on-call firefighter is the polar opposite to being a hairdresser.

“It fits in really well with my job. I work for myself so I can provide cover for whatever hours are needed to fill in the gaps. There’s not a lot of worries for me during the day at the moment, but it works out that I provide cover two days a week and every evening and night.

“I’ve had great support from everyone I’ve met within the service and this has really helped to build my confidence and encourage me to continue even when I’ve had doubts.

“I’ve covered all kinds of topics which I’d never given a thought to before, such as electricity and shipping!”

If you live or work within 5 minutes of Great Baddow Fire Station like Teresa, you could be an on-call firefighter.

Find out more at essex-fire.gov.uk/gb

Sean Goodchild

Thirty-seven-year-old Sean Goodchild is a security officer for the...

Thirty-seven-year-old Sean Goodchild is a security officer for the Ministry of Defence who is also paid to protect his community as an on-call firefighter.

Sean has always had an interest in the Fire Service so he became an on-call firefighter at Great Baddow Fire Station.

He said: “I joined the fire service mainly because I have always had an interest in it but also – it fits in perfectly around my job and my family life.

“In my main job, I work a shift pattern consisting of two days followed by two nights then four days off and during these days off are when I cover most of my required on-call 90 hours. I also have the option of covering some evenings and days while I’m home from London after a shift, which in truth, actually means I cover a lot of hours while I’m at home asleep!

“I enjoy that I pick the hours I wish to cover and although a 90 hours per week contract sounds a lot, it is easily managed (I even get to do the school runs most days).

“Every time my pager alerts me to a shout and I fly down the station to get my fire gear on, I get satisfaction knowing that my crew and I are helping the community, nearly every shout is something different and I feel a sense of pride to know that we’ve helped.

“If its suits your lifestyle and you live within 5 minutes of your local on-call fire station I would highly recommend you apply to be a firefighter and help your community.”

If you live or work within 5 minutes of Great Baddow Fire Station like Sean, you could be an on-call firefighter. 

Find out more at essex-fire.gov.uk/gb