Retained Firefighters

Do You Have What It Takes…

Our Retained Duty System (RDS) Firefighters provide the same full range of emergency services as their Wholetime colleagues – and generally carry out these duties whilst holding primary employment in various other fields. This can mean our recruits bring a wide variety of experience to the role and an example of these wide ranging of roles include; Hoteliers, Bank Managers, Gym Instructors, Project Administrators, Joiners and Sheep Farmers.

In the last 6 months the SFRS have received roughly 1,500 applications from women and men across the country who want to join our RDS crews– out of these 1,500 applications 82 have recently completed training.

When applying for this role – candidates should;

  • Be eligible to work in the UK and be 18 years of age or over;
  • Live or work generally within 5 – 8 minutes* of the station you’re applying for;
  • Be willing to commit to the full recruitment process, including Practical selection tests such as confined spaces, and fitness tests - full details of these can be found in our Recruitment Information Pack and Recruitment Health and Fitness Guide
  • Be willing respond to emergency calls via a pager from home or your place of work at any time of the day or night;
  • Have the express permission of your primary employer to become an RDS Firefighter;
  • Be committed to providing an important emergency service within your community;
  • Be committed to attend a two - three hour training session at your local fire station one night per week; and
  • Be available to attend a two-week training course designed to provide you with the basic training needed to start your role as an RDS Firefighter. Your ongoing training and development will be provided at your local fire station.

*The response time can vary depending on the needs of the Station.


Candidates should familiarise themselves with the dates for the intake for which they are submitting their application e.g. “TTM 13” – interviews have to be concluded by 28 January 2019 therefore please ensure your application is submitted in plenty of time to meet this deadline, to progress to the Task and Task Management training in May 2019*. The dates are contained within the document below:

KEY DATES FOR CANDIDATES (TTM13-TTM14)

*Please note that all dates and locations are indicative and can change depending on candidate volume and spread e.g. Cambuslang location may be moved to Oban and Dumfries and PST dates can be cancelled if there are not sufficient numbers for that specific area.


Successful candidates will be subject to a Disclosure Scotland criminal record check.  If you decide to apply, we would advise candidates to check their e-mail account that they provided for their MyJobScotland application regularly, particularly their “Junk” e-mail and “Spam” folders as some servers are automatically diverting to these.

Vacancy details will change on a regular basis and so we would advise prospective candidates to review the details on the myjobscotland website to identify whether they would meet the response time requirements for any of the stations advertised.

If you or anyone you know may be interested in becoming a retained firefighter you can get in touch with your local station and they will be happy to discuss the application process and the role.

If you would like to apply in a different format, please telephone the Workforce Planning and Resourcing Team on 01698 402342 or e.mail SFRS.Campaigns@firescotland.gov.uk

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