For emergencies

Apply to be an On-Call Firefighter

A rewarding, exciting and varied career awaits!

Become an On-Call Firefighter

On-Call Firefighters come from every walk of life. We have landscape gardeners, directors of companies, full time parents and semi-retired people all at the ready to respond to emergencies in and around Buckinghamshire. When their smart phone app goes off, they become professional firefighters.

Along with responding to emergencies On-Call Firefighters play a big part of our community engagement work. They attend open days, carrying out work with their local communities and act as an ambassador for the fire service.

60 per cent of all UK fire engines are crewed by On-Call Firefighters. We rely on a strong, skilled, On-Call team. Be part of something more, become an On-Call Firefighter.

All the information you need before your application

If you are looking for a role which can fit around your lifestyle, a role in which you will learn new skills and become part of a community that tests your physical capabilities; becoming one of our On-Call firefighters could be for you! 

Career opportunities 

As well as training you to become a professional firefighterjoining our On-Call team will open the door to a host of other fire service opportunities.  

The experience and skills you gain will prepare you for becoming a Wholetime Firefighter if you are interested in that career path or open other opportunities within the Service to you, such as Co-responding and Bank Shift working, or upskilling to Crew Commander. 

On-Call firefighters come from all walks of life but the one thing they all have in common is the desire to give back to their community.  

Are you the right candidate 

To apply to become an On-Call firefighter you must be: 

  • At least 18-years-old by the start date (there is no upper age limit). 
  • A UK/EU citizen or a permanent resident of the UK without any work restrictions. 
  • In possession of a full UK or EU (European Union) manual driving licence. 
  • Willing to get an LGV driving license within 18 months of joining. 
  • Prepared to be clean shaven, so you can safely wear breathing apparatus while fighting fires. 
  • Free from any unspent criminal convictions.

You do not need any qualifications to become an On-Call firefighter. 

What else you will bring 

Other than good fitness levels, the diverse role of an On-Call firefighter means we are looking for people with the following skills and personal qualities: 

  • A can-do attitude. 
  • A keen interest in the fire and rescue service. 
  • A willingness to learn. 
  • Excellent communication skills, with the confidence to communicate with a range of people. 
  • Collaborative working in a team environment. 
  • Ability to achieve a good level of physical fitness. 
  • The ability to follow instructions. 
  • The ability to think about the bigger picture in a dynamic and challenging environment. 

As an On-Call firefighter you will receive a retainer fee, a disturbance fee of £4.77 and, if you are called to an incident, an hourly rate.

Retainer Fees

 Full retainer85% retainer75% retainer50% retainer

Trainee   Firefighter


Development Firefighter


Competent Firefighter


Hourly rate

Trainee Firefighter


Development Firefighter


Competent Firefighter


You will also get a monthly mobile phone allowance of £6.60. Your retainer fee will differ depending on which contract option you are on, and your firefighter competence level. 

 Other benefits include: 

  • Employee Assistance Programme. 
  • Pension. 
  • Cycle to work scheme. 
  • Onsite gyms. 
  • The opportunity to give back to your community.

As an On-Call firefighter you could be called out two or three times a week, for a few hours at a time. The types of incidents you may be called to attend include traffic collisions, fires, and rescues from a variety of situations.  

The hours you will work will be based around your availability and other commitments. 

Offering available hours

You will need to commit to a guaranteed level of first-line availability. This means you will need to be contactable (normally through a phone app) and committed to remaining within an agreed area for an immediate response, during the time you have committed to. 

You can also commit to second, third, and fourth-line availability.  

The amount of cover you commit to provide, as an On-Call firefighter, is flexible and we will work with you to make sure your available hours work for both you and the Service. Contracts start from 40 hours of first-line availability a week, but we are happy to discuss reduced availability contracts for key stations at key times. 

Applications are Currently Closed

We’re not currently recruiting for on-call firefighters. If you’re interested in becoming an on-call firefighter for Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service you can join our talent pool to hear about upcoming recruitment drives.

Our On-Call response model

We need the right number of people with the right skills at the right place at the right time. Our On-call team help us to achieve this through our response model. Our response model provides us with the capacity to respond to emergency incidents of varying types and durations. This resilient approach ensures we maintain the number of front-line appliances available where possible, while ensuring we have reserve resources for dealing with periods of high demand.

We use the terms “availability” and “cover” in place of hours that a Firefighter is available to work for us if required.

Hear what it is like first hand to be On-Call

The different lines of availability

There are various ways in which you can provide us with availability. We might need On-Call firefighters to be immediately available to respond to emergencies. This will primarily be from their local fire station. We call this: First line availability


You will need to provide response from your nearest fire station, immediately, or within 10 minutes. You could also provide agreed cover at an alternative location on a delayed response. For example, to relieve a crew from long job.

To service this need we have three further lines of availability:


Second line availability
Provide response from your nearest fire station within 20 mins.


Third line availability
Provide response from any fire station (inc. work or home) within 60 mins.


Fourth line availability
Provide a response to any fire station within three hours.

Find your local service

Check which stations you can respond from

How to become Firefighter fit

Firefighter Fit Guide

Download our handy guide to help you prepare for our fitness tests.

Working for Buckinghamshire Fire & rescue


Our teams need to reflect the communities they serve, with equitable access to opportunity for everyone.


With access to free on-site gym facilities, professional health advice and mental wellbeing champions, your health is high on the agenda.


We are proud to be making Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes safer places to live, work and travel. There are not many jobs where you can say that!

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