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Wholetime firefighters

The role of the firefighter

The role of the Fire Service has changed incredibly in the last few years. We now face many different challenges, therefore our firefighters are now required to be even more adaptable than ever before.

Firefighters deal with a range of emergency situations:

  • fires,
  • road, rail or air collisions,
  • widespread flooding and other water rescue incidents, and
  • emergencies that may involve hazardous materials.

Fighting fires and saving lives is still a crucial part of the firefighters role, however, just as important is the work that they do to prevent fires and accidents from happening in the first place. They need to be able to switch from a reactive role to a more preventative role.

Our firefighters work closely with the community, talking to people, listening to their issues and concerns, providing advice, expert knowledge and looking for ways to develop solutions. They visit schools and work with children to raise awareness of the dangers like fireworks for example. Firefighters work with people to also raise awareness of fire prevention, escape routes and hazards at home and in business.

Our firefighters are forward thinking and dynamic - are you up to joining our team? Whatever your background, ethnicity, sex and gender, religion or sexual orientation we welcome you.

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Main duties and responsibilities

  • To attend all types of operational incident, swiftly and safely including emergency, critical or major
    incidents, and other rescue operations and, in doing so, carry out the instructions of the Incident
    Commander whilst supporting others as part of a team to bring the incident under control and to a
  • To engage with the community and partner agencies to identify and reduce risk as part of proactive
    prevention work or as part of pre and post-incident activity.
  • Undertake routine inspections of premises as part of a direct or indirect fire safety legislative
  • Establish and maintain confidence of the public by working with all members of the community, being
    sensitive to the needs of others particularly having regard to equality, diversity, fairness and dignity
  • To develop a level of community knowledge to enable appropriate targeting of
    Services to those most vulnerable or at risk of harm.
  • Give general fire safety advice and guidance to people when requested.
  • Work to help educate members of the community in the risks and hazards of fire and other
  • To carry out station duties as determined by the officer in charge, including 'Take Over Routines'
    (TOR), regular tests and maintenance/cleaning of equipment on all appliances and individual Personal
    Protective Equipment (PPE) in order to identify and report defects.
  • Maintain all emergency equipment in a state of readiness, including cleanliness, repairing and testing
    as required to approved standards and procedures to undertake checks on emergency resources
    provided for fire service use.
  • Manage and develop self and others to improve personal and team performance and deliver agreed
  • To support station management to deliver different elements of training and work to assist in the
    familiarisation training of any specialist equipment.
  • Positively contribute to a safe work environment; proportionately apply Health and Safety, Risk
    Management, Business Continuity and Safeguarding policies and procedures. Process personal data
    fairly and lawfully as identified within the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • To actively support safeguarding principles and the embedding of the Service's Inclusion Strategy.

Recruitment opportunities

Apply for a job

Please see the following webpages for more information regarding the recruitment process:

We are an equal opportunities employer and we particularly welcome applications from under represented groups of the community. Please see our webpage: Equality and diversity, for more information.

In line with the requirements of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, all candidates applying for positions with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service must be eligible to live and work in the United Kingdom. Documented evidence of eligibility will be required from candidates as part of the recruitment and selection process.

Your working week

  • The working week averages out to 42 hours per week, but that may be worked as, for example, 48 hours over eight days.
  • A common shift pattern is two day duties followed by two night duties (running from early evening to the following morning). This is followed by four days off duty and then the cycle is repeated.

A station is divided into teams, so that there is always the right number of people on duty to respond to an emergency.

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On joining Surrey Fire and Rescue Service you will be trained to the highest standards on a 15 week residential initial course at our service training centre in Reigate. Here you will learn the range of core skills required to be a confident team member when your join your watch on the fire station.

The initial training will be a mix of practical and knowledge skills covering firefighting:

  • using a range of equipment and methods,
  • rescues from vehicles,
  • rescues from height using ladders and rope rescue equipment, and
  • advanced first aid casualty care.

It doesn't stop there. Having successfully completed your initial training there is more to learn once you have joined your watch and you will continue to develop your skills and knowledge and gain a level 3 Diploma in Emergency Fire Services Operations in the Community.

Learning and development

The Learning and Development Department will support you throughout your career with specialist training for the vehicles and equipment you will be operating, regular refresher training and personal development opportunities.

Our Learning and Development e-learning portal offers self-service learning online accessible from work or home, a flexible approach to internal training and development activities. The range of opportunities to equip colleagues with skills for continually improving services, to learn and grow, includes:

  • Mentoring and coaching services.
  • Career tasters which provide a temporary short term taster of working in another area.
  • Management development.
  • Secondments to other departments and partner organisations to build up skills in your area of interest.
  • Support with personal development planning to target individual training needs.
  • Access to the Surrey County Council e-learning modules through the County Councils Intranet site.

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Locations of our fire stations

Please see the map below for locations of our fire stations or alternatively, please see our list of fire stations.

Key for the locations map