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Development Firefighters - How many in the back


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Looking for some advice.

As OiC is there a limit to the number of development Firefighters you'll have on the appliance? Just 1, 2 or even 3?

Is there hard and fast rules set out by Brigades and or union.

I'm WT & RDS and they're seems to be some disparity over what is acceptable on these 2 duty systems and I want to get as many facts as possible for it raises a concern.



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We ride 4s in GMFRS and a "Green Spot" can only ride number 4 and not as Team Leader until they have completed a 6 monthly BA Assessment. After that, they can ride as team leader, but I would still choose experience over development as team leader until I felt they had the experience. 

However a firefighter can be in development for 2 years plus, so where possible I would ensure that there is a good mix, rather than 2 development firefighters together in the back, but I do have the luxury of 2 pumps which enables me to do this. If I had no option then they could both ride together. As far as I know we have no rules on development firefighters not being able to ride together. 

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No prescribed rules in Surrey.

We only ride 4 now anyway and are under establishment across WT and On Call so you work with what you have.

The luxury of putting them in the middle or ringing a station up to send one of their experienced chaps to swap with one of two newbs are well over but even in those halcyon days there was no 'Do this Do that' definitive rules.


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Our single pump WDS stations ride with 5 and the 2 pump stations a 5 and a 4. As development FF we can ride as either a number 3 or 4 (as well as a 5 of course) though the team leader role may swap if its a tasty job. We will only go with 2 max development FF in the back as long as one is no 5. We occasionally, but rarely, ride with 6 on a WDS pump but this is usually only during watch courses when leave or detachments aren't allowed. As we are only a small FRS we only have one development FF per watch at the moment so only have to consider the above during shift swaps, detachments and bank shifts etc. 

Our RDS pumps can ride up to 8 but the RDS development can't go operational until the full recruits course has been completed which covers a number of weekends and ends with the 2 week BA section. Not sure what their rule is on BA teams for this. 

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Thanks chaps.

Must admit I'd thought there'd be something official somewhere but I've yet to find it in my own brigade.

We ride 5 WT and development on the back is OIC discretion but even 2 is considered not ideal.

Different story in RDS where I often see us riding 4 with 3 dev in the back and OiC driving...a practice I view as somewhat poor.

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Yes it is poor but if thats all youve got, then other peoples contracts need looking at to see of they're providing the agreed level of cover

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There's nothing in terms of National Guidance Policy I can assure you. It will be up to each individual service to decide what they feel appropriate.

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The problem we have is our availability software (Gartan) I have been OIC and ERD with three development FF's one of which wasn't BA (thankfully we didn't get a shout!). When people book off it doesn't show the first as off. However this needs looking at I feel the solution they will propose is salary and contracted hours cover not the traditional RDS working system.

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