Thank you to employers who release on-call firefighters

Tue 23 Dec, 2014

With the festive period upon us and 2015 approaching, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

We would also like to take this opportunity to say a special thank-you to local employers who release their staff to serve as on-call firefighters.

Also known as RDS (retained duty system) firefighters, on-call firefighters are not based in fire stations. Instead, they are on standby, waiting to be called out by pager. They may be at home, working for themselves or working for a company that allows them to leave work to attend emergency calls.

Like their full-time colleagues, on-call firefighters are trained and equipped to deal with a wide range of incidents and situations. These include fires, road traffic collisions and community safety work.

Station Manager Paul Scanes said: “We would like to thank the primary employers of our on-call firefighters for releasing their staff to provide operational cover for our organisation, and for helping to contribute to the safety of their communities.

“We also recognise that our self-employed on-call firefighters are taking focus away from their personal businesss when they provide cover for us.”

At this year’s annual awards ceremony organised by Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, three companies in Marlow – Marks & Spencer, Rebellion Brewery and Waitrose - received the Chief Fire Officer’s Community Protection Award in recognition of their outstanding support to the town’s fire station.

Chief Fire Officer Mark Jones said: “These companies received this award for their willingness to release members of their staff to assist Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue service in improving public safety within their community, not only on a daily basis but also during the flooding events which affected the town of Marlow earlier this year.

“These floods were a significant event which placed the biggest strain on resources which this service has faced in a number of years. It was with the support of these companies that we were able to manage this incident alongside our partner agencies.

"We have always relied on the goodwill of businesses and employers, whether large or small, to release individuals for our on-call duty system, so it gave us great pleasure to recognise them in this way.”.

If you are an employer who would consider releasing staff to work as on-call firefighters, please email Paul at, or Station Manager Jeremy Williams at

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Retained Duty System Firefighter, please follow this link.