Breakthrough Achievement in supporting the recruitment of retained firefighters

Joint Press Release for the Community Planning Partnership Board

Community Planning Partners (CPP) in Highland have agreed unanimously to support the recruitment of retained firefighters.

Chair of the CPP Board and Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Margaret Davidson said: “Resilient communities are dependent on having trained fire fighters available and accessible. We recognise the vital role that retained firefighters serve in keeping communities attractive as vibrant places to live, work and enjoy.

“This is a breakthrough achievement in that all our public sector partners in the Community Planning Partnership have signed up to support the recruitment of retained firefighters in our organisations. Each organisation will promote these opportunities to staff through internal vacancies and our staff communications. 

“We recognise the benefits in helping to fill these vacancies, as it supports the sharing of transferable skills, making our communities and our organisations safer, stronger and more resilient. We want to encourage everyone to consider if they can contribute to their communities in this very worthwhile way.”

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is encouraging men and women to apply in order to help protect the communities in which they live. Becoming a retained duty system (RDS) firefighter brings with it a tremendous sense of satisfaction and gives ordinary people an opportunity to do extraordinary work, helping protect communities from fire and saving lives and the environment.

Local Senior Officer (LSO) for Highland Scott Hay welcomed the commitment from partners. He said: “RDS firefighters are called upon to attend the same wide range of emergency service as whole time firefighters, including fires, floods, road traffic accidents, chemical spills and more.

“They can also be called upon to work with whole time firelighters to promote fire safety messages, giving fire safety advice to schools and other organisations as well as carrying out free home fire risk assessments within their communities.

“It is a very rewarding job and there are tangible benefits for employers who support and allow their staff to become RDS firefighters. Retained=retrained and employers will have a member of staff who will bring a host of transferrable skills.”

In return RDS firefighters are paid an annual retainer fee plus additional payments for every incident attended and time spent on all activity including training nights, community engagement and courses.

RDS firefighters come from diverse backgrounds and bring a variety of experiences to the role. A range of skills are required including being a team player, having excellent communication skills and displaying attention to detail.

You must be aged 18 years or over, have a good level of physical fitness, have the required standard of vision and colour perception and live or work within five to eight minutes of the fire station.

Applicants are requested to note the initial two-week training course, prior to submitting an application. Although recruitment is open periodically and is specifically targeted to those areas most in need you can speak to someone at your local fire station or visit to find out when the recruitment process opens once again.

You will need to demonstrate that you have the potential to carry out this challenging role through a rigorous recruitment process, full details of which are documented within the attached information pack, with further supplementary information provided on our website

Further information on the Community Planning Partnership Board can be found on The Highland Council website:

29 Sep 2015