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Could you be a Norfolk firefighter?

07 January 2019

People looking to climb a new career ladder this New Year are invited to apply to become on-call firefighters in Norfolk.  There are currently around 50 vacancies at fire stations across the county and taster sessions are being held for people to go along and get a flavour of the work involved, the training needed and the fitness levels required.

There are no upper age limit (min age is 18) and there is a particular shortage of female firefighters and those from ethnic minority backgrounds.

A national week-long campaign has been launched today (7 January) to recruit on-call firefighters (also called retained) as there are shortages across the country.

Here in Norfolk, there are 42 fire stations, 39 of them relying on on-call crews who can be called upon to help protect Norfolk’s communities using pagers.

On-call firefighters must live or work within five minutes of a retained fire station and many juggle their lifesaving work with other careers.  On-call roles allow people to continue with existing careers and commitments while taking on a new challenge.

Retained firefighters are paid for being on call and carry an alerter which lets them know when an incident occurs and, on average, on-call firefighters earn £7,000 a year.  Firefighters are also paid per call out and for all courses as well as their weekly training session.

The taster sessions are being held for anybody who might be interested in applying to find out whether it’s for them.  There will be a formal application process and successful recruits will begin an initial two-week training programme later this spring.  This covers the basics around dealing with incidents including fires and road traffic incidents as well as how to work safely at height and near water.  If they pass that stage they will attend a breathing apparatus course and then be allocated to a crew at their local fire station and be in development, learning on the job, for two years.

Firefighters are paid for all training sessions and for attending their weekly drill night.

Taster sessions are available at the following locations*:

  • Gorleston - 21 February
  • Bowthorpe - 28 February
  • King’s Lynn North - 25 March
  • Bowthorpe/Wymondham - 26 March

Session times are all 6-9pm.  To register interest in attending, please fill in the online form and request a call back to discuss further.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council's Communities Committee, said:  "Recruiting to these roles is vital in ensuring that our communities are as safe as possible.

“Filling on-call vacancies makes the service’s emergency response times quicker, as crews are readily available at our rural fire stations.  If a full crew is not available, fire crews from further afield attend, increasing the time it takes to get to the incident.”

If you think you have got what it takes and want a rewarding career and to become part of the fire service family, visit the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service website and request a call back.

*Dates may change due to NFRS operational requirements.

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