New shorter hour firefighter roles in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire to tackle recruitment shortage

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has introduced a new daytime contract to help attract more people to become on-call firefighters.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 5:00 am

The new contract allows people to be available to respond to emergencies from just 24 hours a week, for example while working at their regular day job. This will help increase the availability of fire engines during the day around the county.

The new contract is available for anyone interested in joining an on-call station, providing they can offer a minimum of 24 hours per week (between 7am and 7pm during the week) and attend the weekly drill night.

On-call firefighters can be men and women that come from every walk of life. They may be at home, working for themselves or a nearby company, or even out in their local community. They must maintain their availability to respond to emergencies by staying within five minutes travel time of the fire station. They receive an annual wage plus additional payments for attending incidents and drill nights. They carry a pager and respond as and when they are needed.

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Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service firefighters

Group Commander Karl Bowden, the service’s head of on-call, said: “On-call firefighters are a vital part of the service and the local community. They respond to a wide range of incidents, from fighting fires, attending road traffic collisions, animal rescues to supporting other emergency services.

“Improving the recruitment and retention of on-call firefighters remains a priority for us as a service and the new contracts are a huge step for us in reviewing our service and making sure it reflects modern day working.

“We hope that by increasing the flexibility of the contracts it gives more people the opportunity to join us and fit it in around their work and home life. It will also hopefully help us provide on-call availability during our peak call times where we are currently finding it more challenging to provide fully crewed on-call appliances.”

Later this month, those interested in finding out more about the role and what is involved can take part in a taster session.

On Saturday, January 25 from 9.30am to 12.30pm at St Ives fire station, potential applicants can join current on-call firefighters in learning more about the lifestyle of a firefighter, as well as getting hands on with the equipment used to do the job.

Participants must be 18 years or over, with a good level of all round fitness. To reserve your place, contact the recruitment team at [email protected] or call 01480 444500.

Laura Boucher, recruitment team manager, said: “If being a firefighter appeals to you, but you already have a career or other commitments, now is the chance for you to give it a go and find out if it’s for you.

“It can be hugely rewarding, so, if you want to receive outstanding training, work as part of a team and help your local community, we need to hear from you. There’s lots of flexibility to work around other commitments such as family, studying or work. Now’s the time to make it happen.”

To find out more about becoming a firefighter, visit, email [email protected] or call 01480 444500.