The majority of firefighters in Lancashire are wholetime firefighters who work different shift systems depending on the risk profile in their area. Firefighters are called upon to tackle various emergency situations where problem solving skills and initiative are vital to resolve issues quickly and calmly.
Community safety plays a large part of a firefighter's day to day work and they spend a lot of time out in the community conducting home fire safety checks and talking to people of various ages and from different backgounds about fire prevention, road safety and other safety messages. With such a varied job, firefighters need a combination of physical strength and stamina, intelligence, strength of character and compassion.
Also important is confidence; resilience; an ability to communicate effectively and a commitment to inclusion, equality and diversity. Initial training is intense and thorough and includes theoretical lectures as well as practical exercises. Firefighters are expected to undertake a continuous programme of training and take responsibility for developing their own skills and ensuring that they maintain their fitness levels, as the work can be both physically and mentally demanding.
Retained firefighters are firefighters who are on-call and carry an alerter. They are required to respond to an emergency when the alerter activates. To be a retained firefighter applicants have to be able to respond to the fire station within the required time, so applicants need to either live or work within a close distance. Applicants may already be in a full time job, unemployed or looking for a career that can fit around their childcare or home life. Being a retained firefighter can complement many different lifestyles.
Retained firefighters are trained to deal with a wide range of emergency situations. They provide an agreed contract of hours for emergency cover throughout the week. Additionally, they also undertake weekly evening training sessions at station to maintain and develop skills. Retained firefighters receive full initial training followed by continuous development; this will require dedication. Those responding from work will require their employer’s consent, whilst those responding from home must consider the impact on their home life.
A range of managerial and support services jobs exist within the areas of prevention, protection and road safety, fleet and engineering, finance, human resources, ICT, procurement, Princes Trust, health and safety, communications, administration, project management and management information to name a few. Most corporate support functions are based at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters at Fulwood, Preston.