The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is currently recruiting for on call firefighters to help protect their local community in West Lothian

Published: April 28, 2023


On Call Support Watch Commander Colin Stuart who serves in Falkirk and West Lothian is appealing for new crew members to join the ranks at Bathgate, Broxburn, Linlithgow, Livingston, West Calder and Whitburn Fire stations.

Watch Commander Stuart has urged anyone who works or lives close to the station to consider becoming an on call firefighter.

On call firefighters generally have primary employment and are paid a monthly retainer by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) to be available to respond to emergencies as well as other paid activities.

On call firefighters receive the same standard of training as their wholetime colleagues.

WC Stuart said: “There is no such thing as a typical on call firefighter, we come from all walks of life, types of employment and backgrounds.

“We have on call firefighters across the Service from stay-at-home parents to posties, accountants, farmers and engineers … the list goes on.

“We are seeking applications from people with a variety of life skills and experiences who want to help keep their communities safe from harm.

“Age isn’t a barrier either, as long as candidates can pass the national test – which we support during the pre-employment period – then they can progress their application to become an on call firefighter and help to protect their community.

“We support applicants through the training, every single step of the way.”

Area Commander Kenny Barbour is the SFRS Local Senior Officer for Falkirk and West Lothian. He said: “On call Firefighters are exceptional individuals who carry pagers and step up to protect their communities when they are needed most and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their commitment.

“We are calling on others to follow in their footsteps, learn new skills and work as part of a close team to help keep people safe. We are committed to representing the diverse communities we serve so we are urging people from all walks of life who have different skills and experience to apply for this role.”

As well as attending incidents, on-call firefighters can undertake planned community safety activities in their local area including promoting fire safety messages, giving fire safety advice to schools and other organisations as well as carrying out free home fire safety visits.

WC Stuart encouraged anyone interested in finding out more to get in touch, adding: “We’re always more than happy to discuss the role with potential applicants.”

Watch Commander Stuart can be contacted by or by calling 07969012004.

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On call firefighters conditioned to the retained duty system fact file:

  • On call firefighters generally live and or work close their fire station
  • They are supported by their primary employers and families to attend incidents during their usual working hours and home life.
  • They are equipped with transferable skills that benefit them and their employer
  • They are paid to attend training, drill nights and any incidents that they attend
  • To become an on-call Firefighter, candidates should be aged 18. There is no upper age limit, provided candidates are in good health and can attain national recruitment standards
  • Candidates attend a two-week foundation course where they learn to use appliances and equipment safely and as part of a team
  • They then learn the fundamentals of Breathing Apparatus during a further two-week course
  • Many of these courses take place as close as possible to the applicant’s station
  • On call Firefighters are supported by training teams to maintain and develop core/specialist skills
  • [There are additional opportunities to attend specialist courses such as Emergency Response Driving (ERD), Road Traffic Collision (RTC) and Safe Working at Height (SWAH
  • On call firefighters can attend incidents with Wholetime Firefighters
  • They also work alongside partners to provide safety advice in the local community

Information Pack

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