On-call firefighters are trained firefighters who, rather than being based at a fire station, provide on-call cover from home and/or their place of work. They respond to their fire station when their pager alerts them, so must work and/or live within approximately four minutes travel time from the fire station. They travel from their work/home to the fire station, where they then travel to the emergency in a fire engine.

On-call firefighters declare the periods in a week when they are available to respond to emergencies if called upon. During these times they must remain within approximately four minutes travel time of their fire station to provide a response. They also attend a training evening at their station one night a week.

You can watch videos from some on call firefighters on the national on call firefighter recruitment website 

Stations with an On-call Crew

We have 24 on-call fire stations, seven stations which have both a wholetime and on-call crew and two volunteer stations.

You can see where your closest fire station is on the map on our fire stations page under About Us

Please be aware that not all stations have vacancies at all times, but you can apply for any station at any time and if there are no vacancies at that station we will keep your application within our talent pool for 12 months.


You can start your online application now by clicking here.

To apply to become an On-call firefighter you must:

  • Be aged 18 or over at commencement of the training. You may apply if you are aged between 17 years 6 months and 18 years old as long as you are 18 years old once you commence training.
  • Be eligible to work in the UK
  • Work and/or live within approximately four minutes travel time from an On-call fire station/ station with an On-call crew. We are particularly keen to recruit people who can provide daytime and weekend cover 6am-6pm or parts of.
  • Be physically fit to meet the requirements of the role and medical examination

On-call firefighters declare the periods in a week when they are available to respond to emergencies if called upon.  For example they might work near a fire station that has has an On-call crew and therefore, be available when they are at work between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Or they might respond from home after work so could be available 6pm-8am Monday to Friday and during the day on a weekend.

During the times where they have declared they are available to respond to emergencies On-call firefighters must remain within approximately four minutes travel time of their fire station to provide a response. If they are alerted to an incident, via their pager, they respond to the fire station and then attend the incident in a fire engine.

They also attend a training evening (drill night) at their station one night a week.

On-call firefighters have a contract which includes details of the agreed time periods they will be available to respond to incidents.

  • 120 or more hours of cover per week
  • 96 to 119 hours per week
  • 48-95 hours per week
  • Up to 48 hours per week

Applications are assessed not on the number of hours that can be provided, but whether the hours provided meet the needs of the fire station applied for.

The rate of pay for On-call firefighters is dependent on availability. On-call firefighters receive a retaining fee and also receive payment for various aspects of the work they carry out for example attending incidents and training sessions.

On average On-call firefighters can earn around £5,000 per year depending on the number of incidents and training sessions attended. They also receive paid leave entitlement of up to 28 days per calendar year, increasing to up to 35 days dependent on length of service.

Goathland and Lofthouse are volunteer fire stations and attract a different salary package. Please contact the recruitment team or attend the relevant training night if you would like to know more about these stations. Volunteer firefighters are still required to apply and undertake all the tests detailed in the information pack.

1) Complete an application online, you can access this here.

2) Complete your application, availability form and Pre-Physical test questionnaire. If your availability does not meet the requirements of the station or your home/work address, (dependent on the hours you are able to provide), is outside the approximate one mile / four minute response time then your application will not be progressed.

If you would like further information about becoming an On-call firefighter please email talent&development@northyorkshire.police.uk. We hold On-call firefighter recruitment events throughout the year which you can attend to find out more about what the role involves.

There is also a national on call firefighter recruitment website  which you may find useful.


No you do not have to have any formal qualifications to apply to be an On-call firefighter.

If you are able to provide evidence that you have obtained your Maths and English qualifications, and your initial application is deemed successful, you will be exempt from the written tests which form part of the application process.

Yes you will be required to undertake a full medical examination by the Service’s Occupational Health Team.

You will also need a completed Certificate of Visual Acuity Form. This form must be taken to an optician to complete, to check your eyesight.

If your eyesight or medical examinations do not meet the required standard your application will not proceed any further.

We do not reimburse any expenses incurred in connection with the completion of the Visual Acuity form.

Once you have submitted your application form, one of our Watch Managers will be in touch with you to discuss the role further and invite you to attend a number of selection tests at your local station, including the following:

  1. Chester Step test
  2. Written Tests – unless exempt
  3. Interview – You will be asked questions based upon the role of a retained (on call) firefighter and allow you to gain a better understanding of the role.

You will be given information about the tests, the order and detail of each test before you are assessed

Downloaded Written Test Practice Booklet (PDF)

You’ll then be invited to attend a further assessment day at our Transport and Logistics Hub in Thirsk, where you will complete the following

  1. Medical screening
  2. Physical tests
  3. Uniform & PPE Fitting

Once you have met these requirements, you will be expected to attend a minimum of four training nights (drill nights) at your station and one pre-course learning day, prior to attending a two week Safe to Ride course at the Training Centre in Easingwold.

You may find the information in the fitness booklet useful for your practical tests:

We will also obtain references and require you to undergo a DBS check during the recruitment process.

During the course

Your progress during the training course will be continually monitored by written, oral and practical assessments.  You must pass this course for your appointment as a on call firefighter to be confirmed but you will be given lots of encouragement and support by the training centre staff; their aim is to help you to pass.

There is no closing date for our On-call firefighter recruitment campaign. If you apply and there are no vacancies at that fire station (for which you have applied), we will keep your details on file for 12 months and contact you if any vacancies become available during that period.

Applicants who have been in the recruitment system longer may be successful in filling the vacancies before you. However, in this situation we will hold your details on file and re-activate your application as and when another vacancy arises.

Depending on the length of time that your details are held on file, there may be a need for you to re-take the selection tests or medical as they are only valid for a certain period of time.

All applications are processed as quickly as possible.

Whilst our preference is for On-Call firefighters to live or work within 4 minutes of the station they’re responding from, there are some stations across the county where we might be able to have some flexibility. If you live within 8 minutes of your local station then we would still encourage you to submit an application or have a discussion with us!