Retained duty system for on call firefighters

Details on the retained duty system, the role, pay, and more

The role

On call firefighters carry a pager and respond to a range of emergency incidents, during their agreed on call hours. They also engage directly with members of the public to promote fire, road and water safety to help protect local communities.

Being an on call firefighter is like having a part-time job. You have to commit to certain hours and you get paid for it.

Being an on call firefighter requires professionalism and a broad range of personal skills, qualities and abilities. The role can be both rewarding and challenging and can involve many unique situations in comparison to other jobs.

How much commitment is involved?

On call stations provide cover to their local communities 24/7, 365 days a year.

When you register your interest we will discuss with you, your response time and the level of availability that you can provide.

Response time and availability mean how far you live or work from your community fire station and the number of hours you can commit to being on-call. This could be during the day or night, when you are working or at home.

Being on-call doesn’t stop you from going about your normal life - but you will need to have flexibility in your work or home-based activities, as when there is an incident during the hours you have committed to be available, you will need to make your way to the fire station to be part of the team in the emergency response.

What if I have another job?

You can still apply! Our on call firefighters come from every walk of life and balance their existing job or personal commitments around the role.

If employed, you must have the express permission of your employer to allow you to be released for on call firefighter duties. Please ensure that you discuss your application with your employer (if applicable).

We are mindful of employers’ needs and have developed an On Call Firefighter: Guide for Employers booklet. We can also talk to you employer to explain the commitment required so they know what to expect.

Pay and benefits

On top of developing yourself, helping your community, and helping to make Scotland safer, there are a variety of benefits associated with the on call firefighter role.

You will be paid an annual retainer each month along with payment for attending drill nights, emergency calls and training. Our Retained Duty System Terms and Conditions. document contains more information around this.

Register your interest

We are committed to helping you prepare for and will support you throughout the recruitment process. Our pre-recruitment engagement programme will provide you with a

  • full appreciation of the service
  • the expectations at station level
  • more information about the role itself

The registration process is open all year round. You can apply at My Job Scotland.

Before you apply, take the time to read all the information available within this section of the website. Particularly in relation to the role and the medical and fitness requirements.

The SFRS recognise and celebrate the vast diversity of the local communities of Scotland that we serve and aspire for this to be reflected within our workforce. We encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds, experience and beliefs, who share “Our Values” and want to make a difference in the community.

Related content

Medical check-up

As part of your hiring process, you must undergo a medical check-up.

On call firefighter

On call firefighters are a vital part of the service. They help provided an emergency fire and rescue service to their local communities, 24 hours a day.