How on-call firefighters benefit businesses

Are you thinking about becoming an on-call firefighter, but worried about how your employer might react? Or perhaps a member of your staff has expressed an interest in joining the Service, and you’re not quite sure how they’ll balance it with their day-to-day role?

Whether you’re a prospective firefighter or employer, we’re here to help.

Firefighter helping a woman inside a train

You might be surprised to know that on-call firefighters make up 90% of emergency cover in the UK. They’re an invaluable part of society: rescuing people and animals, saving lives and supporting other emergency services.

 

7 ways on-call firefighters bring employers value

Transferable skills

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Not only will on-call firefighters learn practical skills, but they’ll also pick up many more that will help them in their main role. Using initiative, communicating quickly and keeping calm in a crisis are just some of the things they’ll fine-tune as a firefighter.

Emergency skills

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Firefighters learn first-aid to a high standard. Not only will this keep staff members safe, but it also contributes to legal obligations for first aid cover, cutting the cost of training.

Large goods vehicle training

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Some firefighters are trained to drive Large Goods Vehicles (LGV’s) and also receive Emergency Fire Appliance Driver (EFAD) training which is very similar to an advanced driving test, raising their awareness of road conditions.

Manual handling training

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All firefighters are trained by a recognised instructor in the correct procedures when lifting or moving items, the training involves learning simple techniques that could prevent injuries occurring, thus potentially reducing time lost at work through sickness.

Help with health and safety

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Risk assessments and fire hazards are all part of the training for firefighters. These skills can help support health and safety officers and improve the safety of all staff.

Personal skills

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Staff who can fulfil their ambitions and potential are usually happier and more productive in the workplace. Firefighters must be highly motivated and this motivation will help them in everything they do. As they have to respond to a range of emergencies, they’ll also gain the confidence to manage challenges in their main jobs too. Being a firefighter takes commitment and energy, so you can be sure that this commitment will carry on in the workplace.

Good PR

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Supporting the Fire Service shows provides great local reputation for employers and their staff.

How does it impact businesses?

On-call firefighters only respond to emergency calls, so this means they could be called out any time of the day or night.

This means that an agreement between the employer and employee needs to be reached, so that they can be released from work when incidents occur. But on-call firefighters will only be called out if they’re booked as available.

Whether you’re a potential new recruit or employer, if you’d like us to help support these conversations and answer any questions, then we’d be happy to help.

FAQs

What happens if my employee is out all night and is unfit for work the next day?

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Prolonged incidents do of course occur, but crews are rotated so it is not usual for a crew to be out all night long. However, it is recognised that extended periods of exertion can lead to accidents through tiredness and lack of concentration.

How will I know how long they will be out for?

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There are phones on the appliance and crew members are encouraged to give their employers with an estimated time of return – if however, they are out on a false alarm, they could be back within 20 minutes.

What if my employee gets injured while at an incident?

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All firefighters are trained to a high standard and so injuries on incidents are rare. However, should this happen we have policies in place for compensating the employee for any loss of earnings after Statutory Sick Pay.

My business is often on call for business. How would this work?

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As their primary employer you would always get priority. We are always on hand to offer employers advice and support where we can. We recognise the importance of the support you lend your local crews and communities.