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Control staff

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service control is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by four watches: red, blue, green and white. Control has a control room manager and each watch consists of a watch manager control, crew manager control and firefighter control operators.

Current vacancies

Jobs in control are highly sought after and the turnover of control staff is generally low.

Vacancies are advertised on our jobs website, on the NFRS Facebook and NFRS Twitter pages and in the local press.

About the role

The majority of control staff work:

  • Two day shifts - 9am to 6pm
  • Two night shifts - 6pm to 9am
  • Four rota days

Some control staff do work other shift patterns.

The role of a firefighter control operator is:

  • To accept emergency calls
  • Obtain as much information as possible about the incident
  • Identify and dispatch the nearest possible appliance to the incident  

Different incident types will require the attendance of different types of appliances, so the operator must maintain their knowledge of brigade policies and procedures in order to do this correctly.

For each incident, the operator will also need to inform officers, other emergency agencies, utilities or other services such as the RSPCA. They will also mobilise any further appliances and meet requests from the fireground during a developing incident.

Control is a central point of contact with all NRFS staff and their responsibilities include:

  • Emergency calls
  • Recording equipment and mechanical faults
  • Manning the out-of-hours switchboard for general enquiries
  • Updating media summaries
  • Keeping the press informed of substantial incidents
  • Recording health issues
  • Assist with home fire risk check (HFRC) enquiries and arrange for HFRCs to take place 

Control also holds information on all the high-risk sites within Norfolk and all related emergency plans. Control staff also have chemical manuals that assist hazmat officers with chemical incidents and they continually monitor and manage fire cover across Norfolk.

Control is extremely resilient and has fallback equipment and procedures in case of an emergency within the control complex, including our partnership with Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. Norfolk and Hertfordshire work together to help with call handling when the other brigade is experiencing high volumes of emergency calls. There is also provision for the other brigade to take full control of receiving emergency calls and mobilising appropriate resources in the other county in extreme circumstances.

Norfolk Control is currently working towards an east coast collaboration with Lincolnshire, Humberside and Hertfordshire, which will provide extra resilience for handling emergency calls for all counties by operating on the same mobilising system.