Agenda item

Northamptonshire Fire Service

Recruitment and Positive Action Events


Ashley Tugby from the Fire and Rescue Service explained that they were very keen to make connections with the harder to reach communities and would be appreciative of any contacts.  They were known as responders to incidents and accidents but wanted to be more proactive and help prevent them in the first place and did a lot of safety and accident prevention work.


Recruitment of full time officers did not happen that often.  They were very keen that the service was more diverse and represented the community.  They were making the selection process fair to everyone. Everyone could apply and, if they passed the initial physical and mental agility tests, they would be able to progress to the next stage.  Ashley shared the story of a colleague with a prosthetic leg who could do the physical test quicker than Ashley could!


There were also paid on-call positions in stations in more remote locations.  There was a national shortage of on-call firefighters but Northamptonshire had been quite successful recruiting 8 new officers, 2 of whom were female.


A new Wellbeing Team was in place to suport people whether that was from the fall out of an incident they had worked at or other issues. 


Ashely stated that when he had applied back in 2000 there were about 2,000 applicants for about 10 jobs, now there were around 600.  He thought the Pension and/or the pay may not be quite so attractive as it had been but it was still a really, really good job.  He explained that when Covid hit he was tasked with putting processes in place around supporting EMAS (East Mids Ambulance Service) with drivers and also ensuring everyone had sufficient PPE – it was different to his core role, but one that his individual skills allowed him to excel in.  They also, of course, had staff members in various roles in addition to the responders.


Graeme stated he would be keen to talk to Ashley about scoping out a pilot project – Fire & Fitness – getting people more active, learning about fire and increasing employability.  Action: Debbie do email introduction.  Ashley stated he would be interested once the Covid situation had settle down and informed the group that they also had Emergency Cadets which was useful in getting young people interested in the service. 


Rashmi asked about the current stats around staff diversity and also about home fire safety visits.  Ashley did not have figures to hand but stated that about 12% were female.  They were building up relations with more diverse communities but as the job was deemed as high risk it was not always very attractive.  However, he did state that they were risk averse as staff safety was paramount and they did not usually lose fire fighters.  They were not sent into an empty burning building but would just fight the fire externally.  However, if there was someone in the building, they would be doing all they could to get that person out.  Not all countries took this approach though.  Home fire safety checks were generally done on request or if in response to a fire in a particular street, they would then visit other properties in that street.  Fire alarms would be fitted as it was proven they helped save lives, but it was about more than that.  There would be further education depending on what they saw in the property.  If hoarding was evident they would be passed over to a team who gave specialist support.


Jatish stated he used to work for Highways and was closely connected to the Fire Station at Mereway and they had done a lot of work with schools.  This was one of the joys of his job.