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19 January 2021

On-call firefighter recruitment increases as more people join to serve communities across Cumbria

Cumbria County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service has seen an increase in people joining the Service as on-call firefighters in the past twelve months. However, the search continues to find more, as a recruitment campaign is launched to find people who want to serve their communities.

Cumbria is looking to recruit on-call firefighters at 24 fire stations countywide, from Maryport to Milnthorpe, and from Brampton to Broughton (see full list below).

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service needs an additional 51 on-call firefighters countywide. These are paid, part-time, flexible roles suitable for men and women of all ages and from all diverse backgrounds, who live or work near a fire station.

On-call firefighters commit to a certain number of hours each week when they are available to respond to emergency incidents. This means they can combine working for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service with another career or their personal circumstances.

They can still have another job until the call comes, then they become a professional firefighter. Call-out rates and workloads vary across the stations.

Cumbria’s Chief Fire Officer, John Beard said:

“Being a firefighter is a fantastic job and our on-call crews play such a crucial role in protecting their communities within Cumbria. If you have a desire to serve your local community, enjoy learning new skills and working as part of a team, then we’d very much like to hear from you. We offer a range of flexible contracts and welcome applications from under-represented groups so if you’re looking for a challenging but rewarding career, we’d love to hear from you.”

Cllr Janet Willis, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue, said: 
"We currently have nearly 400 on-call firefighters throughout the county and they are a vital part of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service. We’re launching a recruitment campaign because we need more people to join our on-call crews to maintain resilience in the future. I would encourage anyone who is interested in becoming a firefighter to contact us to find out more.”

For more information, visit www.cumbria.gov.uk/cumbriafire/workforcfrs/oncallfirefighters

On-call firefighters come from every walk of life, including shopkeepers, teachers, farmers, catering, hospitality, self-employed and office workers, together with people who are not currently employed. Full training is provided on an ongoing basis, therefore previous experience is not needed.

An on-call firefighter can be called out two or three times a week, for a few hours at a time but at some quieter fire stations they may only be called once or twice each month. The on-call hours are very flexible and based around people’s availability and other commitments.

Brad Hall is an on-call firefighter for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and is based at Appleby Fire Station, he said:

“The initial training is hard work and you’ll need the support and understanding from your employer and your family. 
“It could be any time of the day when your alerter goes off. The adrenaline is unbelievable. You’ll get so much out of it and it’s great to be doing something so meaningful in your local community.”

To be an on-call firefighter, you need to:
  • Have a strong desire to support the local community 
  • Be enthusiastic about working as part of a team 
  • Have a reasonable level of personal fitness 
  • Live or/and work near your local fire station 

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is recruiting on-call firefighters needed at the following stations:
  • West - Aspatria, Cockermouth, Egremont, Maryport, Seascale, Silloth, Whitehaven, Wigton and Workington. 
  • South - Ambleside, Arnside, Barrow, Coniston, Kirkby Lonsdale, Milnthorpe, Staveley, Ulverston, Walney and Windermere. 
  • East - Alston, Appleby, Kirkby Stephen, Patterdale and Shap.

On-call firefighter recruitment increases as more people join to serve communities across Cumbria