Skip to content



An On-call firefighter is a fully trained firefighter that respond to incidents from home, work or other locations. On-call firefighters continue their normal day to day activity or primary employment but they are contacted via an alerter for a 999 call and attend their fire station, collect their fire kit and attend the same incidents as a whole time fire fighter. 



Who can apply?

You must:

  • be over 18 when the recruit course is due to start - there's no upper age limit
  • be less than 4 minutes away from your chosen fire station
  • have the right to work in the UK (but we accept any nationality)
  • not have any unspent criminal convictions (if you have a criminal record, you must let us know in your application).

There are no height requirements.

You can still apply if you have another job elsewhere, check out our Employee Guide (PDF 4.34MB)Opening in a new window for more information.

You need to maintain a level of fitness and will be tested during the selection process. Find out more:

Fitness, disabilities and medical conditions

Armed forces - current and former

If you're currently serving outside our eligible postcodes, you can still apply - just contact us first at

We've signed up to the Armed Forced Covenant to treat those who serve in the armed forces, or who have served, with fairness and respect.

To make sure everyone has an equal chance of applying, we don't make special provisions for current or former military personnel.

Your experience may help you with discipline and fitness, but there's much more to the role of a modern firefighter.

There's no process for direct transfer into the Fire and Rescue Service, just as there's no process for firefighters to transfer directly into the military.

If you've applied, or worked, for another fire service

If you've completed a selection process with another fire service, you'll still need to complete our process, so all applicants are assessed the same way.

If you work for another fire service, take a look at our wholetime transfer opportunities.

Tattoos, piercings and facial hair

We will accept candidates with tattoos, unless they could be construed as discriminatory, violent, intimidating or offensive to any religion or belief - regardless of where they appear on your body.

We will accept candidates with body piercings, but they must be removed when on duty. For health and safety reasons, we won't accept candidates with cavities caused by body modifications (such as flesh tunnels or ear stretchers) unless they can be surgically corrected.

You must keep most of your face and neck free of hair or stubble because it affects the seal of the breathing apparatus. You can have facial hair that doesn't interfere with the seal, like a moustache or a small goatee.

We're an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all parts of the community.


When will I be needed?

You must be able to attend the fire station at normal road speeds within 4 minutes from the location you will be providing cover for. You will be required to provide available cover depending on the contract you apply for:

  • 40 hours per week – weekday, daytime availability cover only. Mon-Fri between 6am-6pm depending on what suits your flexible work/life balance. 
  • 70-120 hours per week – Availability can be completed at any time, day or night, weekdays and weekends depending on what suits your flexible work/life balance.
  • 120+ hours per week – As above, for completing 120 hours of availability or more, you will receive a slightly higher retainer.  

You will be required to attend a 3-hour training session, 7-10pm, once a week, on a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday depending on your local station’s weekly drill night.

What would I be doing?

  • Whilst providing cover, you will be required to respond to an emergency at a moment’s notice, with each incident being different from the last. Incidents might range from road traffic collisions, property fires and rescues from height, are just a few.
  • Delivering a range of community safety initiatives to the community.
  • Engaging in Safe and Well visits to vulnerable and at risk groups.
  • Being a positive role model and taking part in educational schemes like Princes Trust, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and LiFE courses.
  • Working with other emergency services and partners to resolve problems.


How much would I earn per year?

You receive a basic annual fee for the number of hours cover you agree to do. You also get payment for each call out to an incident you do.

You'll be paid an hourly rate to attend the drill night at your station, which is for 3 hours per week for training with your colleagues.

An estimate of average earnings when qualified is based on:

  • having served 2 years
  • contracted 70 hours cover a week
  • 48 drill nights per year
  • attended at least 50 incidents in the year
  • 20 hours of training courses per year (in addition to your drill nights)
  • 30 hours extra community work a year

The total is £5495 per year before deductions (approx. £450 per month).

In addition to this, you will receive.

  • High level of professional training
  • Trauma and First aid Qualification
  • Information on Risk assessment and delivery
  • An opportunity to interact and serve your diverse community.

For a full list of pay scales check our pay settlement.

What happens after I apply?

Stage 1 - Engagement session

We are holding Engagement sessions throughout the year prior to our physical assessment selection days and recruiting to the upcoming training courses. These sessions are a great opportunity to find out more about becoming an on-call firefighter, what the training will be like, and how the role could fit in to your life. 

These session will be an opportunity for you to gain a better understanding of the role of an On-Call Firefighter in Hertfordshire and to explain how you can respond to an emergency incident along with how to balance this around your homelife and while continuing in your current primary occupation.

Stage 2 - After you apply

If you have a GCSE A*-C (9-4) grade in both English and maths or an equivalent qualification (PDF 107kb), we'll invite you to our next selection day.

If you don't have these qualifications, we'll ask you to take a supervised Level 2 English and maths test. If you pass, we'll invite you to our next selection day.

If you fail the test, or you don't meet all our eligibility requirements, we'll let you know by email.

Stage 3 - Attend a selection day

Selection days are held 3 times a year. We'll contact you about a month before the selection day.

You will have 7 pass-or-fail tests of your fitness, dexterity and equipment handling.

If you pass these tests you’ll be invited to a formal interview.

Stage 4 - Formal interview

We'll send you details of how to prepare in advance. Please bring any documents we've asked for.

Stage 5 - Full medical

Find out more about your medical appointment, including what to bring and what we'll test.

Stage 6 - Uniform fitting and training course

The selection process takes several months. If you're successful, we'll email you a timetable for training. You’re paid hourly for attending the course.

You'll be invited to a uniform fitting appointment. Uniforms and equipment are free.

You might be placed on a waiting list of up to 12 months depending on vacancies at stations. You might need to do a re-test when a vacancy is available.

The majority of vacancies need you to be able to give cover on weekdays during the day. This needs to be agreed before you’re offered a place on the training course.

Training programme (PDF 150kb)

Once you're working, there will be opportunities for development and promotion. You can also apply to be a wholetime firefighter.


Information for your employers

You will be required to provide cover for an agreed amount of time, depending on the contract you sign up for. On-call Firefighters usually have another job during the week, your Primary employer may agree for you to attend fire calls during your normal contracted hours giving you more opportunity to provide more cover.

If you already work for Hertfordshire County Council, the organisation supports Employer Supported Firefighting, therefore speak to your line manager regarding completing on-call firefighting within your normal working week.

Information for your employer about on call firefighting (PDF 4.30MB)opening in a new window


Rate this page


Like many other websites, we place small information files called 'cookies' on your computer.

Why do we use cookies?

To remember your settings, for example your language and location. This means you don’t have to keep entering these details when you visit a new page.

To find out how you use the site to help us update and improve it.

How do I change my cookie settings?

You can change the settings of your web browser so that it won’t accept cookies. For more information visit

But, doing this may stop you from using some of the online features and services on this website. 

Cookies we use

Cookies do a lot of different jobs, and we use 2 types of cookies:

Required functionality cookies – these cookies are essential for the website to work.

Performance and feature cookies – these cookies help to improve the performance and feel of this website, for example providing you with personalised services.

Take a look at a list of cookies we use on our website:

NameTypeHow we use itHow long we use the information for



Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.



Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.


Required functionality

To track the effectiveness of our website using Google Analytics. 

2 years


Performance and feature

To save the pages that you visit by clicking the heart at the top of the page. 

1 month


Performance and feature

This stores your postcode (or partial postcode) when we ask you for your location.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).


Performance and feature

This stores your location as a pair of latitude / longitude coordinates.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).


Performance and feature

This keeps a history of all answers submitted to the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.


Performance and feature

This keeps a history of what content cards are clicked on when using the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.


Required functionality

This used to track user sessions on forms hosted on

Just for the time you are on our website.

Third party cookies

There are links and content from other sites and services on our website. These sites and services set their own cookies.

Below are a list of cookies that the other sites and services use:

Service namePurposeMore information

Google analytics (_utma/b/c/z)

These are used to compile reports for us on how people use this site.

Cookies of the same names are also used for the same purpose by other websites such as Building FuturesCountryside Management Service and Hertfordshire LIS.

Visit the Google Analytics website for more information about the cookies they use.

You can prevent data from being collected and used by Google Analytics by installing Google's Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Google Translation - googtrans

This cookie is used to remember which language to translate each page into if you have chosen to do so.

It expires at the end of your browser session.


We use a Bing cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Bing to find out more about their cookies.


We use a Google cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Google to find out more about their cookies.


We have a number of presences on Facebook, which we may link to. Facebook may set some of its own cookies if you follow these links.

Visit Facebook to find out more about their cookies.


We have a number of presences and feeds on Twitter, which you may wish to follow or read from this website. Twitter may set some of its own cookies.

Visit Twitter to find out more about their cookies.


We have a YouTube channel, which we may link to. YouTube may set some of its own cookies if you follow those links.

Visit YouTube to find out more about their cookies.


This ASP.NET_Sessionid cookie is essential for the Netloan secure online payments website to work, and is set when you arrive to the site. This cookie is deleted when you close your browser.



This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels.

Visit HotJar to find out more about their cookies.


These cookies are set to help us report on how people are using the site so we can improve it.

Visit Siteimprove to learn more about their cookies.