Have you got what it takes to be a firefighter?

Have you got what it takes to be a firefighter?

Published by Spire FM News at 5:41am 22nd August 2019.

3 minute read

A 'Have A Go' event is being held at Salisbury fire station today (22 August).

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service needs new on-call recruits, so it's holding an open afternoon so people can have a go at doing parts of the job.

Those turning up will have the opportunity to try on breathing apparatus, climb a ladder, cut up a car and do the national firefighter selection test for carrying equipment.

Salisbury Fire Station have a go event Aug 2019 (FB)
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue have more information on their Facebook page


An on-call firefighter is someone who does the role part-time.

Justin French, On-Call Support Officer, explained to Spire FM:

"On-call firefighters are people who are firefighters as a secondary employment. 

We have all sorts of people, bankers, plumbers, care assistants..... and they go around with a pager and when it goes off they respond to the station."

The Fire Service is looking for recruits across Wiltshire but particularly in Salisbury, Wilton, Tisbury, Amesbury, Ludgershall and Mere.

Contracted hours can vary, but on-call personnel usually make themselves available for between 48 and 120 hours per week. 

Between them, each fire station team will provide cover for weekdays, evenings, nights and weekends.

In order to be on-call, recruits need to be able to respond to their local fire station in around five minutes once their pager goes off. 


The answer is YES!

Many people don't realise that on-call firefighters do get paid.

They also get the same training as full-time crews.

On-Call Support Officer Vicki Brewis, who is organising the 'have a go' event, told Spire FM:

"On-call firefighters receive the same training and development as wholetime colleagues, and we can be called to all manner of emergencies, including fires, road traffic collisions, animal rescues and flooding. 

The pay does vary, depending on how much cover you give, but it is fantastically rewarding to be a part of your community and to be in a position to help people."

Salisbury Fire Station Dorset &  Wiltshire Fire Service (Faye Marsh)
Salisbury Fire Station where the 'have a go' event is taking place


The need for new recruits has been highlighted over the last few weeks.

At the end of July, there was a fire in Mere which had to be attended by crews from Gillingham, Shaftesbury and Wincanton because there wasn't a local team available.

And, at a fire in Amesbury on Tuesday (20 August) firefighters were initially called in from Salisbury and Andover because there wasn't cover nearby.


  • Salisbury Fire Station, Ashley Road
  • 3.00pm - 8.00pm, Thursday 22nd August.
  • If you can't get to this event, the Fire Service will be holding another one in Chippenham on the 7th September.
  • You can find out more about becoming an on-call firefighter visit www.dwfire.org.uk/be-one-of-us
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