Hours and Benefits

Hours and benefits

Hours of Work

RDS Firefighters provide ‘on call’ cover for an agreed number of hours a week (referred to as their ‘availability’); they carry a pager and must be able to get to the fire station within 5 minutes of a call during their agreed hours of availability.  Many RDS Firefighters respond to emergency calls from home and others, with agreement from their employers, respond from their place of work.

In addition to providing on-call hours, RDS Firefighters are required to attend drill nights once a week. Drill nights last for three hours and this time is used to develop skills and training.

RDS Firefighters are required to be available to respond to a fire station within 5 minutes of being called and it is only in exceptional circumstances that the Service can extend this response time. One of the factors that would allow the discretionary extension of response times is the current staffing levels in each station and the station location, however, the Service has to consider all risks and resilience options available on an individual basis.



RDS Rates of Pay



Rates of Pay for RDS Firefighters from 1st July 2016. 

Annual Retaining Fee

£2,224 Fully Retained OR £1,668 Semi Retained Per Annum (see below)

Training and Development Fee

£30.45 Per Drill Night (3 hours attendance)

Turnout Fee                       (includes disturbance pay)

£14.05 Per Turnout (payable for the first 1 hour and 15 minutes of attendance at an incident)

Hourly Rate

£10.15 per hour (payable in 15 minute blocks of £2.54 after the first 1 hour and 15 minutes of attendance at an incident)

Attendance Fee

£8.98 per attendance (payable for attending the station in an acceptable response time, but not being required to attend an incident)


Fully Retained – This Annual Retaining Fee is paid to RDS Firefighters who offer 120 hours or more availability per week. 

Semi Retained – This Annual Retaining Fee is paid to RDS Firefighters who offer less than 120 hours availability per week.

As you progress and become competent your Annual Retaining Fee will increase as follows (from 1st July 2016).

RDS Firefighter

  Fully Retained

  Semi Retained










To become a competent RDS firefighter you will need to complete a development portfolio which can take 18+ months to complete - portfolio requires demonstrating evidence against the elements in the firefighter role map.

Pension - For information about the pension please visit the Communities and Local Government website

Annual leave - A member is entitled to 30 days paid leave. After five years' service, the entitlement increase to 37 days.

Occupational Health Support - The aim of Occupational Health practice is to protect and promote workers' health, to sustain and improve their working capacity and ability, to contribute to the establishment and maintenance of a safe and healthy working environment for all, as well as to promote the adaptation of work to the capabilities of workers, taking into account their state of health. This is achieved through the provision of support and technical services, appropriate risk assessment, evaluating, treating and limiting temporary or permanent disabilities and assisting employees in controlling personal health.

Colleague Support Scheme - In operation is the Colleague Support Scheme. North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has instigated an essential mechanism which staff can access to provide them with support and assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The scheme provides a confidential, informal and non-directive system of support for all members of staff. The scheme is provided by a team of Colleague Supporters, who are all members of North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, selected and trained to carry out the role. Colleague Supporters are not regarded as counsellors but can provide support, facilitating individuals to deal with their issues and concerns, whether domestic, social or work related.

The Fire Fighters Charity
All RDS Firefighters have access to the Firefighters Charity www.firefighterscharity.org.uk


Working Time Directive
The Service is keen to ensure that its employees working with the Working Time Regulations. In advising what cover you can provide please ensure that you have considered issues such as:

- Main employment and overtime
- Other employment
- Travel to work/home
- Rest periods/family/social requirements and responsibilities

And that you will be fit to carry out your duties in any main employment and/or the retained cover you have committed to, building in appropriate rest periods in line with the Working Time Regulations.

If you have other permanent employment then you must discuss your application with your main employer and gain their agreement to your duties as a firefighter. This applies even if you will not be providing cover during your normal working hours.






Thank you for your email address

We will shortly provide you with the appropriate information.


Thank you for your request