Ordinary People Can Do
Retained Duty System (RDS) Firefighters are ordinary people that combine their day jobs with being on call for Fire and Rescue situations and emergencies. When the call comes in, they drop what they are doing and become part of the East Sussex Fire & Rescue team. It's a huge commitment, but an immensely rewarding way to serve the community, keep the public safe and earn an extra income.
The Retained Duty System is one of three Duty Systems (alongside Shift and Day Crewed) that combine to provide operational fire cover across the County of East Sussex.
All Firefighters in East Sussex are trained to respond to the same incidents and RDS Firefighters are not a secondary or backup service.
They are an integral part of the County’s fire cover and enable us to crew more fire appliances in some of the more rural and remote areas of the County, in the most cost effective way.
Over 90% of RDS Firefighters in East Sussex do their Firefighting work alongside their day job. For example, we have
- office workers,
- self employed people and
- those at home during school hours.
RDS Firefighters are paid an annual Retaining Fee of up to £2,964+, plus an hourly rate of up to £13.53 for any work undertaken for the Service, including responding to incidents and training.
Your annual earnings will depend largely on how much cover you can offer and how often you get called out, the average earned by RDS Firefighters in East Sussex is between £5,000 and £7,000*.
+correct at 9 December 2016. *gross average, ESFRS, 2016.
Please pop down to your local station on drill night (see below) to find out more about the role of the RDS firefighter and to discuss the cover required with the Watch Manager.
The first question we will ask is, "Where do you live and/or work?"
The reason for this is that RDS Firefighters carry alerters when on duty and need to be at the Fire Station and ready to turn out within 5 minutes of the alerter sounding, travelling at normal road speeds, typically from home or their place of work.
More information about the role of a retained firefighter and the application process is available in this information booklet, which you should read in full.
You will be contracted to be on call during the hours that you have agreed to provide cover and will therefore need to remain within 5 minutes of the Fire Station during those times, although there will be some flexibility for ad-hoc changes to be agreed with Station Management.
The initial training will comprise of an induction weekend, a two week Core Skills Course and an RTC weekend. Once you have successfully completed this you will be able to ride a fire appliance, though in a limited capacity.
Completion of the Core Skills Course places you on the Firefighter (RDS) Development Programme which is accredited through Skills for Justice. On completion of the Development Programme you will be deemed as a competent Firefighter.
There will be further training within 6 months of completing the Core Skills Course as follows:
There will be regular fitness tests on station during drill nights to ensure your fitness levels do not drop between attendance on the Core Skills Course and attendance on the BA Course.
To apply, download and complete the application form listed below and return it to:
Human ResourcesEast Sussex Fire & Rescue ServiceChurch LaneLewesEast SussexBN7 2DZ
If you have any problems downloading the information pack or application form, please telephone our recruitment line: 01323 462349.
Your data will not be provided to a third party and will only be used for the purpose of this campaign.
Not all Fire Stations in East Sussex have RDS crews. Below is a list that do, with those currently recruiting listed first. If you live in one of the areas where we are not currently recruiting, you can still apply to us and we will contact you when vacancies arise.
Brighton, Hove, Hastings and Eastbourne Fire Stations do not have Retained Crews.
Station Recruitment Status & Drill Nights
|Station ||Recruitment Status ||Drill Night & Time |
| Barcombe || All cover considered but priority is evening and weekend cover || Wednesday - 1900 |
| Battle || Day cover only, weekdays and weekends || Tuesday - 1845 |
| Bexhill || Not currently recruiting |
| Tuesday - 1900 |
| Broad Oak ||Day cover a priority |
| Tuesday - 1900 |
| Burwash || All cover considered but priority is day cover || Tuesday - 1900 |
| Crowborough || Weekday daytime cover a priority |
| Monday - 1845 |
| Forest Row || All cover considered || Monday - 1900 |
| Hailsham || NOW RECRUITING-Daytime and Weekend Cover only || Monday - 1845 |
| Heathfield || Weekend cover and Weekday daytime cover only |
| Monday - 1900 |
| Herstmonceux || All cover considered || Monday - 1845 |
| Lewes || All cover considered || Wednesday - 1900 |
| Mayfield || Priority daytime cover || Monday - 1900 |
| Newhaven || Daytime cover a priority || Wednesday - 1900 |
| Pevensey || Daytime cover only || Monday - 1900 |
| Rye || Daytime cover preferred || Tuesday - 1845 |
| Seaford || Daytime cover preferred || Wednesday - 1845 |
| Wadhurst || Daytime cover preferred || Monday - 1900 |
| Uckfield || Daytime cover preferred || Monday - 1900 |
Latest Update : 17 July 2017