The job of an on-call firefighter

The job of an on-call/part-time firefighter is to  protect and serve the community by dealing professionally with emergencies and other dangers through the acquisition and application of the necessary knowledge and skills and attitude, by maintaining readiness and by educating the public in fire safety in order to minimise loss of life and damage to property.

On-call firefighter - key accountabilities, experience and competency required

The following list provides key accountabilities, experience and competency required by on-call Firefighters. It also shows the importance of these key accountabilities (as desirable or essential).

Emergency Incidents

Form an integral part of a disciplined team that attends a wide variety of emergency incidents, sometimes in arduous or hazardous environments, in order to mitigate loss of life and damage to property.

Following a full briefing about the conditions and constraints of being a on-call firefighter and its impact on normal daily activities and family life, demonstrates an awareness of physical and mental challenges (essential)

Demonstrates enthusiasm and willingness to operate in a team environment (essential)

Demonstrates personal initiative (essential)

Operational Competency 

Continuously develop practical skills and appropriate theoretical knowledge by actively participating in weekly drills and in specialist formal training, maintaining and enhancing competency standards to ensure safety and effectiveness on the fire ground.

Provides evidence of ability to attain require levels of operational competency, both physically and mentally by:

  • Passing literacy test (essential)
  • Passing numeracy test (essential)
  • Passing manual dexterity test (essential)
  • Basic mechanical comprehension (essential)

Demonstrates full commitment and motivation to the requirements of ongoing training.


Be available and able to attend the designated fire station, within contracted cover period, on an ongoing basis to ensure a prompt response to emergency incidents.

Will live and/or work where can respond quickly to the designated fire station during the contracted period of cover (essential).


Maintain an appropriate standard of physical fitness to enable efficient and safe operation on the fire ground.

Must meet the requirements in the Home Office Appointment and Promotion Regulations:

Have good eyesight in both eyes (essential).
Have good colour perception (essential).
Have a reasonable level of physical fitness (essential).
- achieve a VO2 max uptake of 45 ml/kg/min as measured by the Chester Treadmill Test.
Will meet defined medical standards (essential).

Pass breathing apparatus simulation task (essential).

Pass moderate upper body strength test (essential).

Will be aware of the need to work at heights and will be able to do so (essential).

Operational Readiness

Ensure that operational appliances and firefighting equipment are always ready for use in emergency situations to allow a rapid and safe response.

Be willing and able to clean and maintain equipment, even when stressed or tired (essential).

Community Education

Advise and educate the community on all aspects of fire safety, in the home, workplace or school, to increase awareness and reduce the number of casualties and damage to property caused by fire.

Be able to communicate effectively and appropriately, to assist local people to understand the dangers of fire and measures they can take to minimise risk (desirable).

Local Risks

Maintain and develop familiarity with potential risks within the designated fire station ground to facilitate effective performance on emergency incidents.

Will display a willingness to gain and to continuously develop knowledge about potential risks within the designated fire ground and ability to communicate this effectively to colleagues (desirable).

Health and Safety

Be conversant with Service Orders that have Health and Safety implications. Take reasonable care of yourself and others affected by your work activities, use equipment correctly and apply safe working practices effectively, to remove or minimise risk of accident or injury and to meet statutory publications.

Demonstrate an understanding of personal responsibility for the health and safety of self and others (essential).

Fairness and Dignity

Actively comply with the Services Fairness and Dignity at Work policy to assist in eliminating discrimination and in maintaining a fair, positive and productive working environment, to meet statutory obligations and good employment practice.

Demonstrate a commitment to treating colleagues and the public in a fair and dignified manner (essential).

Last updated: Tuesday 10 March 2020

Related images

Firefighters in breathing apparatus and a fire engine