On call firefighters often have another job and rather than being based at a fire station, provide on-call cover from home or work. They respond to emergencies when their pager alerts them, so must live or work near the fire station.

On call firefighters, like their full-time colleagues, are trained to deal with a wide range of situations and incidents. Fighting fires can be just a small part of the role. They are called upon to provide community education and advice on fire safety, but, when they are called to an emergency, they could be dealing with any type of incident, from road, rail or air crashes, to floods, fires, chemical spills or rescuing people trapped in confined spaces. It's not a job that can be undertaken lightly but can provide a sense of real achievement and value. To find out more, watch the video below:

More information

For more information please contact Human Resources by emailing: recruitment@lancsfirerescue.org.uk or call 01772866845.

Want to join as a Firefighter? Guidance on getting fit and maintaining your fitness levels is available.

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Can I join? - How does it work?

Recruitment Process


Can I join?

Anyone can be a on call firefighter, as long as they meet the entry criteria and are able to respond to the station within the required time. Whether you have a full-time job, are unemployed or are looking for a career that you can fit around child care needs, being an on call firefighter can complement many different lifestyles. Being an on call firefighter requires a range of personal skills such as understanding, reliability, flexibility and the ability to work within a team. You don't need any qualifications but there's a selection process that will mean you need to pass some physical and practical tests and a medical. Before you decide to apply you need to make sure that you:

  • Are aged over 18.
  • Have a good level of all-round fitness.
  • Live or work within five minutes, or in some instances, eight minutes.
  • Have a good standard of eyesight and hearing that is acceptable to carry out the firefighter role. This can be aided or unaided
  • Have the enthusiasm, time and commitment to participate fully in this essential emergency service.

Are literate and numerate.

Candidates are required to meet the following eyesight standard:-

Uncorrected distance vision no worse than 6/18 in the better eye and 6/24 in the worse eye. Corrected distance acuity should be at least 6/9 with both eyes open and reach 6/12 in the weaker eye. If you have concerns in relation to your eye sight, colour blindness, or have had laser eye surgery, please request an optician form via Email: Itrentsupport@lancsfirerescue.org.uk to take to your optician at an early stage to ensure you meet the eye sight standard.

How does it work?

  • On call firefighters agree to be available for a set number of hours per week. In return they are paid a salary.
  • They carry a pager and respond to emergencies from home or work when required.
  • Whilst on-call they can carry on with their day-to-day activities but they must have their pager with them at all times and be able to get to the fire station within five minutes, or in some instances, eight minutes. Of course, this means that they are not able to drink alcohol while on-call.
  • On call firefighters receive full training and equipment.
  • On call firefighters need support: those who want to respond from work must have their employer's consent and those who want to respond from home need to be aware that it may impact on home or family life.

For employers who are looking to find out more about what is involved with supporting on call firefighters in the work place and what benefit there is for their business, they can download our employers guide here.


On call firefighters receive a retaining fee for the hours of cover they provide which is a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 120. They also receive additional payments including allowances for disturbance, turnout, attendance and an hourly rate for other none operational duties.

For example, the pay for a fully trained on call firefighter covering 80 hours per week is:

  • Retaining fee - £5092 per annum
  • Turnout fee - £21.31 per hour
  • Attendance fee - £13.04 per hour
  • Other duties - £16.54 per hour
  • On call firefighters need support: those who want to respond from work must have their employer's consent and those who want to respond from home need to be aware that it may impact on home or family life.
  • On-Call firefighters need commit to a minimum 1 2-hour training session/Drill night each week.


Stage 1 – visit the station

Meet the Manager at the Station on a drill night or contact the On Call Support Officer to discuss the role.

View Drill Night Details and Contacts information

Stage 2 – application form

Complete the online application form.

Stage 3 – fitness/psychometric tests at Service Training Centre

You will be required to undertake practical tests which assess your level of fitness and strength. The point of entry fitness requirement is 42.3VO2 which is equivalent to Level 8.6 on the Multi-Stage Shuttle Run/Chester Treadmill test. If you cannot provide evidence of GCSE's Grade C or above (or equivalent) in Maths and English you will be required to undertake two online tests; numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning.

The two films below show demonstrations of the Multi-Stage Shuttle Run and the Chester Treadmill test.

Stage 4 – practical assessment day (PAD day)

Assessment day at our training centre in Chorley where you'll be tested on practical exercises based on the national firefighter selection tests and carry out the following exercises:

  • Extension of a 13.5m ladder
  • Ladder climb
  • Ladder lift
  • Equipment carry
  • Casualty evacuation
  • Confined space test

To find out more about the levels of physical fitness required to become a firefighter, download this booklet which has been created by the National Fire Chiefs Council.

Fitness Booklet

Stage 5 - interview

An interview at the local fire station.

Stage 6 – final checks

You will need to have a medical and provide suitable references.

Full training is provided to make sure you are ready to respond to emergencies and are able to carry out fire safety activity such as home fire safety checks with confidence. You will attend an initial two weeks training course to learn the basic skills and experienced trainers will be able to provide you with support. Within your first year you will need to attend another two weeks course on Breathing Apparatus and occasional weekend attendance for specialist rescue training such as road traffic collisions.

All firefighters are required to maintain their fitness, practice and develop their skills throughout their careers and on call firefighters are no different and they are required to attend a weekly drill session at their station. Your salary starts from the moment you start training and the Service pays all associated costs such as travelling.