Retained Firefighter

What is a firefighter on the retained duty system?

A firefighter on the Retained Duty System (RDS) provides an on call part-time service, responding to fire and emergency calls using the same appliances and equipment as Wholetime firefighters. The difference is that RDS firefighters are on call in their homes or work places rather than at a fire station. This role offers flexible working hours and could suit people with childcare responsibilities.

As an RDS firefighter you need to live or work within five minutes travelling distance of your local retained fire station during your hours of declared availability. Retained firefighters can choose whether to provide part cover (days, nights, weekends), or full cover (approx 24/7).

Being an RDS firefighter is like having a part-time job – you have to commit to certain hours and you get paid for it.

When can I apply?

We would always like to hear from you if you’re interested in becoming a retained firefighter at one of our stations at Bath, Blagdon, Chew Magna, Clevedon, Nailsea, Paulton, Pill, Portishead, Radstock, Thornbury, Weston-super-Mare, Winscombe, Yate, or Yatton. For more information please visit the how to apply page

To apply, you must:

  • be 18 years of age by the time your training starts.
  • be fit enough to pass the physical selection tests and medical examination.
  • live or work within five minutes travelling distance of your local retained fire station.

Before applying it is important to consider your current occupation (your primary employment), particularly if this involves driving duties. Please read about driving and the EU Drivers Hours and Tachograph Rules for Goods Vehicles which may apply to you. All applicants are required to complete a driving questionnaire as part of their intial application and this can be found on our how do I apply page.