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Derbyshire Reserve Fire Crew Recruitment

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) is looking for people to become Reserve Fire Crew (RFC) to help keep local people safe in the event of industrial action by firefighters. This is to ensure that the Fire & Rescue Authority meets its legal obligations under the Fire & Rescue Services Act 2004 and Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

Apply here for the role of Derbyshire Reserve Fire Crew

Essential Criteria

  • Minimum age 18 at the start of the training course for Operatives
  • Minimum age 21 for the Driver / Pump Operator role
  • Eligibility to work in the United Kingdom
  • No known phobia of heights or confined spaces
  • Meet required fitness standards and medical health checks including eyesight examinations
  • Complete a satisfactory basic criminal records check 
  • Be available to attend an assessment day and the full training course relevant to the role

Considering the demanding nature of firefighting work, preference will be given to applicants who have experience of working in a safety critical role and/or those who have worked in a disciplined environment. You must be medically and physically fit and a fitness test will be an integral part of our selection process.

There are two roles:

Driver / Pump Operator

The Driver/Pump Operator role will involve driving an emergency fire appliance to the scene of an emergency situation and to supply and maintain the fire crew with water from the on-board water tank (or other water supply) via the on-board water pump, to extinguish fires. Additionally, the Driver/Pump Operator will be required to pump water for various other incident types such as flooding. Training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided.

Applicants must behold a clean Category C LGV licence. Training in Emergency Fire Appliance Driving (EFAD) will be provided.

Fire & Rescue Operative

The Fire and Rescue Operative role could involve attendance at a fire or a road traffic collision, helping to save lives and providing emergency fire and rescue cover for the people of Derbyshire. This role will require the applicant to be able to climb ladders, wear breathing apparatus, deploy fire hose lines, deal with casualties and may require entry to hot and smoke-filled buildings.

Full training is given, and RFC will always be supervised and directed by experienced Fire Officers at all incidents.

Previous experience of using Respiratory Protection Equipment would be an advantage.


Driver/Pump Operator

£20.00 per hour during any period of training.

£250.00 for each operational shift or part shift worked, up to 12 hours.

Fire & Rescue Operative

£15.00 per hour during any period of training

£225.00 for each operational shift or part shift worked, up to 12 hours

Contract type

You will be contracted to work only when required. There will be no guarantee of future work – this is called a Zero Hours Contract.

Recruitment Timetable



Open for applications 

(Will close earlier if sufficient numbers are received)

Closes at midday on 9 January 2023

Assessment Centres / Interviews 

(Joint Training Centre, Ripley)

14, 21 December 2022
5, 11 January 2023

Further dates may be added

(Applicants must attend one of these dates)

Medicals / Pre-employment checks / References

Commence on completion of Assessment Centre
Training course (Joint Training Centre, Ripley, Monday to Friday 0900 - 1700 hours)

For both Operatives and Driver / Pump Operators

16 January 2023 for 2 weeks

Selection Process

Application form

You will need to complete an online application form that includes your personal details and a requirement to answer a number of questions to assess your eligibility to apply.

Online Assessment

As part of the application process (if your meet the essential criteria) you will undertake two online assessments covering Maths and English Comprehension, which are timed.  You will receive an email with a link to the assessments within 3 days of submitting your application.

Assessment Centre

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an assessment centre to complete the following tasks. 

1 A Brief Interview

This will confirm the requirements of the role.  You will be asked a few questions to ascertain your suitability for the role, cover potential availability and any previous relevant experience.

2 Job Related Tests

These will all be completed in Fire Kit


An equipment carry, to ascertain aerobic fitness, stamina, upper and lower body strength, and co-ordination. A ladder climb to test a phobia of heights.

Driver / Pump Operator

Carry a length of rolled hose, weighing approx 16kg, for 20 metres. LGV Familiarisation

3 Medical

  • Review of health questionnaire
  • Drug and alcohol Test
  • Relevant tests to ascertain fitness for the role applied for
  • Health Information

4 Kit Fit

Pre-employment Checks

Basic criminal records check

A satisfactory basic check will be requested from Disclosure England to ensure that you have not been convicted of a criminal offence which makes your employment in the role of a firefighter unsuitable. This application is made in line with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

Reference checks

At least two satisfactory references will be sought.  One must be from you current or most recent employer.  Your references will need to cover the past 3 years of employment.


Successful applicants will be trained in basic Fire and Rescue techniques.

The training courses for both roles are a 2 week course, which takes place from Monday to Friday 0900 - 1730 hours.  The training will take place at the Joint Training Centre in Ripley.  It is compulsory to attend the full course and successfully pass all parts of the course.

Have a question?     

If you have any questions regarding the process, please email


Why is DFRS recruiting?

The reason for this recruitment is to provide sufficient cover for DFRS in the event of strike by Firefighters. Whilst DFRS respect the right of the staff to undertake action, there is a legal duty placed upon the Fire & Rescue Authority to provide emergency cover to the public they serve.

What will I be paid?

During the training period this is £15 per hour for Operatives and £20 per hour for Driver/Pump Operators. Training will be for 10 days for both roles running from approx. 09:00 – 17:00 each day. The exact time and duration will be confirmed after the assessment day. The assessment day is unpaid.

If successful in the Training, pay thereafter will be £225 per 12 hour shift or part shift worked for Operatives and £250 per 12 hour shift or part shift worked for Driver/Pump Operators.  As these RFC roles are being recruited to cover the event of industrial action, there is no guarantee of being called to provide such cover.

Where will I be required to train and work?

Operational training and Driver training will take place at the Joint Training Centre in Ripley.

If and when you are required to work, this could be at any location in Derbyshire or Derby City. You will be working as part of a closely supervised team responding to a range of operational incidents.

Do I need previous firefighting experience? 

No previous experience is required as comprehensive training will be provided. 

What hours will I be expected to commit to?

This is a zero hours contract. We cannot guarantee you any work and you do not have to commit to any particular level of availability, other than your ability to attend the training course.  The more you are available the easier it is for us to give you work. In the event of industrial action, we will regularly contact our RFC to check availability against our needs. If you are unavailable at that time, we will contact you again when the next requirement arises. Please be aware, we do not know when industrial action will actually occur, whether it will be continuous or sporadic, whether it will be for 1 day or 1 week etc.

Apply here for the role of Reserve Fire Crew