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Wholetime Working as Retained


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Hi, I am seeking info from anyone who is aware of fulltime firefighters who can also work in their old retained stations when off duty. 

I WAS retained and became a full-time firefighter in 2008. I still live in the same house so I am very close to my old retained station. It bothers me that occasionally the small town stations are often threatened with closure, sometimes lack of personnel is a reason. I would like a situation where firefighters like me could show up when off duty and answer calls. 

I have heard there are brigades in the UK that operate such a system and I really want to get in contact with these people, see how it works and maybe start to push it over here in Ireland. 

If anyone can help please post what you know  

Much appreciated 

Stay safe and well 

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If it’s not the same brigade then it just comes under outside employment. There should be no issue with you doing this. 

Edit: just seen in another post you are Irish and not in a UK fire service so not sure what your arrangements are or your agreements with outside employment.

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Which brigades specifically? I can start calling up their HR departments to see what the arrangements are I would.imagine it takes a certain level of cooperation from the full time chief. What if the retained fire station is at a protracted call out that runs in to the full time duty schedule? All issues like that are already ironed out in the UK . It Must be on paper somewhere 

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All UK brigades will have WT firefighters working as RDS firefighters, in either their own brigades or other brigades or more likely both. The exact implementations will differ. Essex demand you have 11 hours free from Duty before and after any WT shift so it limits your RDS cover to around 48 hours a week. They can only really impose this where you have both RDS and WT contracts with them but being late for a WT shift because you were working RDS in a neighbouring brigade would be very much frowned upon. Other brigades will do it differently.

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I'm Wholetime and RDS for the same brigade (passed my WT course and joined RDS to supplement development wages then just stuck around).

Have to have 2 hours clear of a shift in case of a call. Should that not suffice and I get stuck on one then I'll get one of the other retained to relieve me in the stn van, or failing that a call to control who will let my whole time watch know I'll be delayed. Very rare occurrence and a bit of common sense local management when it does happens solves most problems.

Very common to be WT/RDS here with half my watch doing it. (Probably due to a complete lack of WT overtime in our brigade)

Haven't come across many issues other than duplication of competencies (for those that use PDR pro, I have to use 2 accounts which seems daft).

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So I have my first lead  I will follow up the fire brigade in the city of Cardiff and see what they will give me in terms of documentation etc etc. The is a.million everyone  keep it coming  the more evidence I have that this works the better. How much in control are f/f's of their free time can the contract to work at retained stations be 'rolling' ? Or are you stipulated to work on tour free time indefinitely?

I wanted it mostly to be more casual where I can be cover for people going sick etc.

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Thank you very much  . I have fired off emails to Essex and the welsh brigades asking for any documentation and sample contracts and the like. . . How it works in detail interests me. . . I don't necessarily want to be tied down on my time off. . But I would like the option to choose to fill in at a retained station if needed. . . I will continue to research it from the top down and the bottom up.  . . I wonder how it works for firefighters in the system: how often do they need to train at their retained stations  , what happens if they are offered a more lucrative Overtime shift at their fulltime station  but they were meant to fill in at their retained Station? All stuff like that? How does it work ? And do most firefighters like the system or is it far too restrictive ? Do firefighters opt out alot?

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NO ONE, Not ever, You have to understand there is no federal system here. So the left hand doesn't need to know what the right hand is doing . A county fire brigade would generally oversee rural  retained stations. The city brigade would have it's own chief and ACFOs.

As I understand it the northern Irish fire service is one federal system  with one chief . In the north there is an officer for every 500 firefighters. In the republic there is an officer for every 28 firefighters! Anyways where were we? 

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AFAIK the issue with retained in Ireland is that they dont operate flexible cover that allows you to offer select availability. I think all the Irish retained services operate on you being available 24/7. I think due to lack of recruitment the A and B crewing doesnt really work either.. have you tried your own Brigade? . I see from the fire ireland website that you have 6 retained stations and 1 wholetime station.

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Hi I'm a whole time/retained firefighter in Humberside Fire and Rescue. 

I've been whole time for 24 hrs and retained for 7 years. Feel free to message me for any further information 

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Thanks pal. I will pm you 

Out of interest who likes the system and who is in the system and wishes they weren't! 

Edited by Keith
Quote from post above removed
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I tried it with Dublin when working as a firefighter before promotion. Essentially there is no flexibility in retained manning in Ireland. You can book days off or holidays but other than that you've to attend 75% of training nights and 80% of calls. There is also the little matter of the working time act to be taken into account. There's no way you could meet the retained requirements and work your 42 hr week and stay within the law. 

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