Campaign to recruit new retained firefighters launching in West Sussex


You might spend your days cleaning windows, working in an office or being a stay at home parent, but have you ever thought about adding firefighting to your CV?

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is launching a countywide campaign to recruit new retained firefighters and is inviting people to come and ‘have a go’ so they can find out more about what the job involves.

The have-a-go-day, which is being held at Horsham Fire Station on Saturday October 24, will give people across the county the perfect opportunity to discover what a career as a retained firefighter can offer them.

Those attending will be able to have a go at some firefighting activities and use a range of equipment in a safe environment. There will also be an opportunity to find out more about the physical and written entry tests, look around a busy fire station and chat to current retained firefighters about their role.

Retained firefighters are men and women who combine their day jobs or duties with being "on call" for the fire service, ready to respond to emergencies when they are needed.

They receive regular training to equip them with the skills to deal with fires, road traffic accidents and a wide range of other emergencies. They also play an important role in community engagement activities.

Retained firefighters receive an annual retaining fee as well as additional payments for any incidents or community safety events they attend.

To support the recruitment campaign West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has produced a short film to encourage applications from those who may not have previously considered a career in the fire service.

The two minute film, which was produced in-house and features real firefighters from around the county, gives a flavour of working as a retained firefighter and dispels some common misconceptions about the role. 

View the film here: retained recruitment film

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Lee Neale, who began his career as a retained firefighter, said:

“Becoming a retained firefighter offers people a fantastic opportunity to give something back to their community and get paid while they are doing it. There are also definite benefits for employers who support their local communities by having retained firefighters on their staff.
“If there are still lingering myths and misconceptions about the qualities we look for when we are recruiting, this is a good opportunity for us to dispel them. People sometimes assume it’s all about physical strength, but it isn’t. We’re looking for good communicators who can stay calm in an emergency situation.
“The have-a-go-day will be very relaxed and informal. We’re holding the event in Horsham but we are hoping to see people from right across West Sussex. Even if you have never considered being a retained firefighter before, if you’re up for a challenge, come along and see if you’ve got what it takes.”

The have-a-go-day will run from 10am until 4pm at the Fire Station on Hurst Road. You can book in advance by calling 01243 752488.

For more information on becoming a retained firefighter in West Sussex download the retained recruitment information pack or visit the fire service recruitment pages.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has retained fire crews who respond from the following Fire Stations:

Arundel, Billingshurst, Bognor Regis, Burgess Hill, Chichester, East Grinstead, East Preston, East Wittering, Haywards Heath, Henfield, Horsham, Hurstpierpoint, Lancing, Littlehampton, Midhurst, Partridge Green, Petworth, Selsey, Shoreham, Steyning, Storrington, Turners Hill and Worthing.  

Listen to Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Lee Neale:

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Last updated:
6 February 2018

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