The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has welcomed the very positive response from the public to a national campaign to recruit retained duty system (RDS) firefighters around Scotland.
The appeal has resulted in 180 people applying to go through to the selection process in a bid to serve their local communities as retained fire crew. Potential recruits will now face an assessment day. Those shortlisted to take part will be put through a range of tests to assess their suitability to join SFRS as retained firefighters.
The assessment day will cover several parts of the selection process within one day. It will consist of practical selection tests, a competency based interview and some pre-employment checks.
Retained firefighters are men and women who operate ‘on-call’ and respond to emergency calls via a pager from their home or place of work at any time of the day or night. They are a key part of SFRS’s workforce, providing vital fire and rescue cover often in remote and rural communities, protecting local people and businesses in the area they live in, from fire and other emergencies.
The Service has recently reviewed the way it recruits RDS personnel to streamline the process and improve the experience for candidates. This includes providing assessment days nearer to applicants’ homes to reduce the amount of travel time for tests and information days.
Diane Vincent, Director of People and Organisational Development, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Retained firefighters play a vital role in protecting their local communities and as a Service they are essential if we are to continue to ensure appropriate levels of fire cover, particularly in our more remote and rural areas.
“We have been absolutely delighted with the recent response to our appeals to join the Service. We are particularly keen that in developing a new process to improve how we recruit retained duty system firefighters it will firstly improve the candidate experience of our recruitment process but critically limit the frequency and distance of travel for candidates, particularly those living in more rural areas. This should mean that the overall process is timely and cost effective, ensuring that we can recruit the right people to the right places to deliver these crucial fire and rescue services to our local communities.”