Recruitment & volunteering

This page provides information about employment within Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service.

Whole time and retained firefighters work closely with local communities to increase safety awareness, and help to prevent emergencies. Firefighters tackle a wide range of emergency situations.

PLEASE NOTE: We are not currently recruiting for wholetime firefighters. When recruitment information becomes available, it will appear here.

Not everyone who works for the service is involved with firefighting. We employ a number of staff who provide vital support to our firefighters. This includes emergency control room personnel, support staff, and volunteers.

Although we aren’t currently recruiting, you can click here to register your interest, and we will contact you when recruitment opens.
Retained firefighters are professional firefighters who are on-call for a specified number of hours each week to respond to emergency calls within their local area.

Many retained firefighters have full-time employment outside of their duties as firefighters.

Please click here for information on where our retained firefighters are based.


Retained firefighter responsibilities

Our retained firefighters are contracted for two hours per week to attend training sessions, as well as additional hours per week to be available on-call. When retained firefighters are on-call, they have to attend emergencies, and deliver community safety work.

You can combine this with doing another job. However, retained firefighters must live no further than five minutes travel time from their local fire station, and must be able to give the full level of ability required.


Training courses 

Training courses for new retained firefighters run two to three times per year. Trainees are drawn from a pool of successful candidates, based on the fire stations that have vacancies at that time.

If you have the flexibility and commitment we’re looking for, please contact us:
You will be performing essential services for your community, and will have the chance to develop skills in team working, management, and leadership. Being a firefighter is extremely rewarding and inspiring.
Furthermore, you will be paid for any emergency incidents you are called to, and for your involvement in community safety activities.

Becoming a retained firefighter is a fulfilling way to add extra skills and earn extra income, as well as a sense of achievement in providing an invaluable service to your own community.
The control room is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and is crewed by four watches which work both day and night shifts.

As well as taking and responding to 999 calls, emergency control room personnel are responsible for:
  • receiving emergency and non-emergency calls from a range of sources, including out-of-hours calls made to the fire service and Northumberland County Council.
  • mobilising resources to emergency incidents, e.g. firefighters on appliances, supervisory officers, and specialist units.
  • maintaining communication with fire crews and officers during incidents.
  • mobilising additional resources and equipment to incidents as required.
  • maintaining information on operational resources.
  • liaising with other emergency/non-emergency agencies e.g. police, ambulance, or the Environment Agency.
If you are interested in this position, our vacancies are advertised centrally by the county council:

Please click here to see all vacancies advertised by Northumberland County Council.
You can be involved in the Fire and Rescue Service without having to be directly involved in fighting fires.

If you were to become a member of our support staff, you could play a vital role in maintaining the operational effectiveness of our services, and therefore you will be contributing to keeping the public safe.


Support staff roles

We currently employ support staff in a range of different roles, including:

  • Clerical and administrative roles
  • Human Resources
  • Technical (e.g. fire safety inspection officers)
All support staff vacancies are advertised centrally by Northumberland County Council here.
Volunteers provide valuable support to the young firefighters association, community safety academy programmes, home fire safety checks, and West Hartford’s community Boxing Academy.

We have been running the volunteer scheme since 2010, and the service continues to recruit new volunteers to help support its work with local communities in Northumberland. 


Benefits of volunteering

  • gaining new experiences
  • building your CV
  • developing and sharing new skills
  • helping your community
  • becoming a valued member of the team
  • choosing convenient days and times to work
  • your travel expenses are reimbursed
  • free lunch (at our headquarters canteen, or lunch expenses can be reimbursed for up to £5 when working more than four hours)
If you would like more information about becoming a volunteer, please email

Alternatively, you can click on the link below to complete our online form:
Our volunteers contribute:
  • the value of their time
  • support to the service team as it serves and engages with the community
  • individual skills, experiences, and knowledge which helps to strengthen effectiveness
  • greater diversity within the service, therefore a greater representation of the community
Overall, our volunteers help the service to deliver the best possible support to Northumberland, making the county stronger and safer.
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is committed to equality of opportunity and diversity in employment.

We welcome applications from all sectors of the community and we aim to recruit a diverse workforce that reflects the communities we serve.

Women and ethnic minorities are under-represented within the service and are therefore actively encouraged to apply for positions that become available.