What it’s like to work for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service aims to be an equal, diverse and inclusive organisation with team members from all communities.

Five firefighters attend to equipment on a fire appliance

About Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

We are responsible for delivering a fire and rescue service to the people and communities of Suffolk.

We operate from 35 stations across Suffolk, many of them shared with Suffolk Police and East of England Ambulance Service. Our stations vary in status from being staffed 24/7, 365 days a year, to being completely on-call, which means firefighters are on call day and night and are alerted to incidents by a pager.

The Fire Service Headquarters is based at Endeavour House in Ipswich and we share a combined fire control room with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

We provide a 24/7 emergency response service to deal with fires, road traffic collisions and a wide range of emergencies. Our responsibilities as an emergency service are set out in the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

There are three main strands to our emergency service role - prevention, protection, and response.

You can read more about Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service here.

Roles with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters

The role of a firefighter is rewarding. They respond to fires, rescue and other emergencies plus work on prevention through education and fire safety messages. All firefighters go through the same development and training. Firefighters are either:

  • wholetime meaning they are a full-time employee of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service
  • on-call meaning they called into service when they are needed, rather than staffing the fire stations on a full time basis

Read more about being an on-call firefighter or being a wholetime firefighter.


Non-operational staff

A team of around 75 staff support our operational staff (firefighters), from working in our vehicle workshops to teaching children. Many roles are office-based, or in our workshops or training facility in Wattisham. Others regularly travel around the county visiting businesses, schools and local communities.

Read more about being a member of non-operational staff.


Volunteers

Supported by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service staff, volunteers help to deliver a wide range of prevention advice and education at various events in their communities.

Read more about being a volunteer.

Diversity, inclusion and culture

Anyone can apply to work for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service. We welcome applications from all members of the community.

There are some basic requirements to meet if you would like to become a firefighter, but equality, diversity and inclusion are part of our culture.

We want Suffolk to be a great place to work, a place where all our staff enjoy coming to work, feel they can be themselves and their differences are accepted as being an important and valued part of a wider and inclusive team. 

Read more about our commitment to diversity, inclusion and culture.


Suffolk County Council staff networks

Suffolk County Council is proud to have a number of active staff networks supporting and promoting groups of staff, councillors and partners that share similar characteristics, life experiences, values and beliefs.

Networks influence the organisation to be more inclusive, through work on policy, service development, training, communications, events, culture and have a seat at Suffolk County Council's Strategic Equalities and Inclusion Board.

The staff networks are run by SCC staff for SCC staff, councillors, and other public sector partners:

  • Black and Asian network
  • Christian Fellowship
  • The disABILITY! network
  • Mental Health network
  • SCC LGBT+ staff network
  • Vegan Network
  • Women's staff network
  • Young Adults' network

Staff networks within Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service:

How do I join?

Firefighters

We only recruit for wholetime firefighters every couple of years or so. The next opportunity to apply will be in 2022. Read more about being a wholetime firefighter.

We recruit for on-call firefighters all year round, for many of our stations. To find out which stations are recruiting, and when the next application round is, see our page about being an on-call firefighter.


Non-operational staff

Vacancies for non-operational roles in the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service will appear on Suffolk Jobs Direct.

Read more about being a member of non-operational staff.


Volunteers

We are always looking for new volunteers to join our team, read more here about being a volunteer and how you can apply.

Myths about being a firefighter

Watch some of the myths about firefighter in the video below!

How tall do I have to be?
What if I have a young family?
Do I have to be incredibly fit?
Do you do anything else than put our fires?

Have you got any questions about becoming a firefighter? Leave a comment on the YouTube video!