By Jane Hayes,2014-06-28 20:51
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    Committed to Equal Opportunities



    Content Page No.

? General Introduction 3-4

    ? Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service Profile 5 ? Our Vision 6-7 ? Retained Duty System 8-10 ? Becoming a Firefighter 11 ? Job Description & Person Specification 12-14 ? Recruitment Stages 15-18 ? General Information 19-22 ? Overview of Firefighter Application Form 23-25 ? Programme of Activities 26 ? WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP 27





The Fire and Rescue Service can offer you a satisfying, exciting and varied career, and

    the aim of this booklet is to give you a better insight into what the work involves.

The role of the Fire Service has changed considerably in the last five years, and the role

    within the community has had to change to reflect the new demands made on the


The „New Look‟ Firefighter is not an individual focused on the traditionally perceived role

    of attending emergency incidents and the physical requirements to achieve that. The

    Firefighter is now required to be even more adaptable than previously. Yes, the new

    look Firefighter still fulfils the traditional role of dealing with fires in all types of premises

    and a variety of Special Service Calls, which include incidents such as entrapment of

    persons at road traffic collisions, chemical emergencies, flooding and other natural

    disasters. But, the new look Firefighter is also able to switch from this reactive role to a

    more preventative role, which involves the education of our communities about the

    hazards presented by fire.

While you might start as a Firefighter, there are plenty of opportunities for career

    development if you want it, and how quickly you progress will depend upon you.

The Work of the Fire Service

Key Objectives

    The objectives of a modern Fire and Rescue Service are, to build a safer society by

    working in partnership with others, and to reduce death, injury, damage to property and

    the environment from fire and other emergencies.

Dealing with emergencies

    Technology obviously plays a major role in helping Firefighters to tackle emergencies as

    efficiently and effectively as possible. For example, computers in control rooms store

    street plans, details of high-risk buildings and the latest information on hazardous

    materials. This ensures that as soon as emergency calls are received whether a fire,

    chemical spillage or road traffic collision controllers can immediately assess what


appliances are required to attend. On attending a fire, the Firefighters have to make a

    very quick assessment of the situation as materials used in homes and factories

    change, so does the way the fire is tackled. A house fire may require two appliances whereas a commercial or factory fire may involve several more appliances as well as

    requiring thousands of litres of water and foam, plus the use of specialist equipment.

There is also the hazard of toxic fumes and heavy smoke, which can be generated from

    modern materials for example foam-filled furniture. This makes tackling a fire much

    more difficult and Firefighters always go fully protected with equipment such as breathing

    apparatus as well as personal radio sets to keep them in contact with colleagues at the

    scene, or back at HQ. Firefighters will also have a range of other equipment at their

    disposal depending on the incident to which they have been called; cutting and lifting

    gear to deal with traffic collisions; protective suits for use at chemical spills and thermal

    imaging cameras to help locate victims in smoke filled rooms.

    Fire Safety a key area of work Specialist training for officers involved in fire safety is provided at the National Fire

    Service College in Gloucestershire and with individual Services. Based on the study of

    Fire Engineering, there is also the opportunity to study other relevant academic

    qualifications, such as the membership of the Institution of Fire Engineers. Training in

    fire safety is critical to much of the day-to-day work of a Firefighter. Factories, offices,

    shops, hotels, boarding houses and railway premises are all required to comply with

    certain fire precaution measures, which include providing adequate means of escape. It

    is the job of the Fire Service to ensure that these requirements are being followed and

    effectively maintained. We also provide specialist fire protection advice to local

    authorities responsible for licensing buildings such as theatres, cinemas, clubs and

    sports grounds. Hospitals, schools, nursing homes and many other institutions also

    need professional advice regarding fire safety.

Another important area of work is promoting fire safety through education and publicity to

    the general public. Close links between individual stations and their communities are

    vital in this, and building these gives Firefighters the opportunity to take part in all sorts of

    events and activities that you might not have imagined could count as “work”!





The Brigade provides a Fire & Rescue Service for the County of Buckinghamshire, which

    covers a large area from Olney in Milton Keynes down to Gerrards Cross in the South of

    the County, protecting a population in excess of 640,000.

The service is provided from 6 Wholetime shift, 4 Wholetime day crewed and 10 retained


The stations and the various working patterns within Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue

    Service are:-

    Amersham (day crewed & retained) Great Missenden (retained only)

    Aylesbury (shift & retained) Haddenham (retained only)

    Beaconsfield (shift & retained) High Wycombe (shift & retained)

    Bletchley (shift & retained) Marlow (retained only)

    Brill (retained only) Newport Pagnell (day crewed)

    Broughton (shift & retained) Olney (retained only)

    Buckingham (day crewed & retained) Princes Risborough (retained only)

    Chesham (retained only) Stokenchurch (retained only)

    Gerrards Cross (day crewed) Waddesdon (retained only)

    Great Holm (shift & retained) Winslow (retained only

Staffing Levels

The establishment of the Brigade as at Jan 2008 is as follows:


    Wholetime (station based) 308

    Retained (station based) 212

    Fire Control 21

    Other 191



The Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service exists to ….

    “Making you safer by working together to reduce death and injury and, damage to

    property, the environment and our heritage from fire and other emergences. We

    will achieve this by balancing the provision of prevention, protection and

    response services.”

    Our values are focused:-

    ? Service to the community

    ? People

    ? Diversity

    ? Improvement


    They are demonstrated through our commitment to Service in the Community


    ? Working with all groups to reduce risk

    ? Treating everyone fairly and with respect

    ? Striving for excellence in all we do; and

    ? Being answerable to those we serve


    Our values will be demonstrated by everyone practicing and promoting:-

    ? Fairness and respect

    ? Recognising commitment and the achievement of excellent service

    ? Honesty and trust

    ? Opportunities to develop and learn

    ? Co-operation and inclusive working



    We value diversity in our service and in the community by:-

    ? Treating everyone fairly and with respect

    ? Challenging prejudice and discrimination

    ? Creating opportunity to meet the different needs of people and the


    ? Promoting equal opportunities in terms of recruitment, promotion and



    We value improvement at all level of the service by:-

    ? Accepting responsibility for our performance and actions

    ? Being open minded and receptive to alternative approaches

    ? Learning from our experiences

    ? Supporting others to enable them to achieve their goals

    ? Encourage innovation and creativity

Our strategic priorities are:

    ? To reduce risks to life, property and the environment.

    ? To promote the social, economic and environmental well being of the local


    ? To have a well equipped, skilled and highly motivated workforce, able to work

    safely and that reflects the diversity of the community it serves.

    ? To continuously improve performance.


    Retained Duty System


Generally the role of a Retained Firefighter is the same as that of a Wholetime Firefighter

    with exception to salary and certain conditions of service.

We look to recruit committed and dedicated people who will be required to attend weekly

    training periods of between 3-5 hours. You will have the opportunity to carry out

    additional duties such as, community fire safety, fire hydrant inspections, equipment

    maintenance and testing and general station routines. These duties are in addition to

    responding to emergencies for which you will receive a retaining fee, turnout fee and

    additional hourly rate payments. The range of duties and opportunities to earn more are


Retained Firefighters

    The role of a Retained Firefighter offers the chance to serve your local community.

    Retained Firefighters do a whole range of jobs and attend the same operational incidents

    as Wholetime Firefighters varying from fires, flood, road traffic collisions and chemical


Retained Firefighters are a diverse group of men and women from various vocational

    backgrounds. They are ready to go to an incident the moment an emergency call comes

    in. They are committed, professional, highly trained competent people on the front line,

    saving lives and making headlines.

How do you become a Retained Firefighter?

    You need to live or work within one mile of the Retained Fire Station at which you wish to

    serve and should be able to respond within five minutes of an alarm, on foot or by

    vehicle at normal road speeds. The role allows for great flexibility, and there are two

    types of employment:

Full cover contracts Firefighters employed on this cover live and work within five

    minutes travel time of their local station. Their employer agrees to release them for

    attending incidents during working hours and these Firefighters provide emergency

    cover around the clock, over 120 hours per week

Part cover contracts This term is used to describe all patterns of cover rather than

    the 24 hour type described above. One such example is where a persons home is within

    five minutes of their local station and they respond to incidents when they are not at work,

    e.g. during weekday evenings and throughout the weekend period. There are too many

    different types of cover to describe here. If you would like to know more about this

    flexible type of cover, you are advised to contact the Station Manager of the Fire Station

    to which you are interested in.


Career Development

    All members of the Fire & Rescue Service start their career gaining the essential front-line experience and training needed for employment as a competent Firefighter. For those Retained Firefighters seeking promotion, there are opportunities available to the roles of Retained Crew Manager and Retained Watch Manager.

    Training The basic retained recruit courses either run during weekends over a 6 month period, or within a 2 week block. The training course is split into 6 modules, culminating in a two week breathing apparatus course (module 6).

    The content of the course includes learning how to use equipment carried on the station appliances to a basic and safe standard. This will involve theoretical input as well as demonstrations on the equipment, you will be required to demonstrate competency as each weekend progresses.

    The course is both physically and mentally challenging so successful applicants will need to ensure they maintain their fitness. A certain amount of study will be necessary in your own time and you will be able to seek assistance from station personnel or training centre staff should you require any further help.

    Applicants are encouraged to attend their local stations, prior to starting the course to observe the working of the stations, and to get to know the staff. Applicants will not be able to take part in drills etc. until they have attended the first weekend training due to health and safety restrictions.

    During the training you will be required to attend weekly drill nights mainly at your base station, with the exception of one evening per month where you will be required to attend the Haddenham Training Centre, near Aylesbury, for continuation training.

    During Module 4, you are assessed to ensure you are safe. If you are successful you will be deemed able to ride to operational incidents on limited duties, this will be explained during the course.

    Once you have successfully completed module 5 there is a requirement to attend a 2 week Breathing Apparatus course (Monday Friday), with 4 days within the second

    week being residential. If you are successful at this stage, you will be deemed competent to wear breathing apparatus at operational incidents.


    Fees for Retained Firefighters with effect from 1 July 2007

    Role Cover Rate

    Firefighter Trainee Full ?2040.00

    Development Full ?2125.00

    Competent Full ?2719.00

    Role Cover Rate

    Firefighter Trainee Part ?1530.00

    Development Part ?1593.75

    Competent Part ?2039.25

Part cover is up to 120 hours per week and full cover is over 120 hours.

The above fees are per annum and one twelfth is paid per month.

In addition to the above, payments are made for calls to the station, calls that result in

    being sent to an incident and an hourly rate for any additional duties including weekly

    drill nights, work on the station and community fire safety duties. Payment is also made

    for training courses attended.

Payment is made at an hourly rate:

    Firefighter : Trainee ?9.31

     Development ?9.70

     Competent ?12.41

A newly recruited Retained Firefighter will commence on the trainee rate of pay until they

    are eligible to attend incidents, usually part way through the training course. The

    Firefighter will then remain on the development rate of pay until completion of an NVQ

    style portfolio, which can take a number of years to complete.

Interested? Need more Information?

    If you think you have what it takes to join the retained service why not call in at your local

    station where you can talk to the people who are already doing the job. They will be able

    to give you a true insight of what life is like as a Retained Firefighter. Alternatively, you

    can contact the station manager of the Fire Station to which you are interested in who

    will gladly supply further information.


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