Fire service to start first significant recruiting campaign for 10 years

Posted On 09 Jun 2021 at 3:29 pm

The fire service is to start its first significant recruiting campaign for 10 years as dozens of firefighters prepare to retire.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, which has three fire stations in Brighton and Hove, employs about 800 people, including almost 350 wholetime firefighters.

The jobs pay a basic salary of almost £32,000 a year once a recruit has qualified as a “competent firefighter”.

A report to East Sussex Fire Authority – the councillors who oversee the service – said that wholetime firefighters were those “who work 42 hours a week to crew stations 24 hours a day”.

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They could be “firefighters located at the station or … firefighters located at the station during the day and responding from their own homes on an on-call basis at night or (those) who work in specialist areas such as technical fire safety”.

A fire authority report said that “there had been no significant firefighter recruitment for 10 years and that there was a high retirement profile coming up”.

Earlier this year the chief fire officer Dawn Whittaker told councillors that the fire service “had already been determinedly recruiting diversity into volunteers and cadets”.

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West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service started its own recruitment campaign in March.

The six-stage process – which includes aptitude, fitness and medical tests as well as interviews – is due to be completed by October.

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