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Wholetime firefighter recruitment opens in Berkshire

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) has announced the launch of a new recruitment campaign that will see the appointment of a group of new wholetime firefighters, with recruitment opening on Monday, 15 July 2019.

Staff from across the Service are taking part in a brand-new campaign, aimed at giving prospective applicants real insight into what it takes to work for a modern fire and rescue service.

The role of a firefighter is varied and as well as responding to a range of incidents, it includes providing fire safety advice and engaging with local communities, through safety advice events, education activities and campaigns.

There isn’t one stereotypical firefighter and RFBRS welcomes people of all background to apply. The wider campaign will highlight the diversity of both people and roles within the Service, who all have the shared goal of serving the people of Royal Berkshire.

In his spare time, Rafer Joseph, Station Manager, coaches young athletes and organises physical training sessions for his colleagues. He is one of our ambassadors who will be taking part in RBFRS’ recruitment campaign; who will be sharing their stories and insights about the role of a firefighter.

Rafer has worked for RBFRS for 26 years, beginning his career as a firefighter in March 1993. He explains: “No two days are ever the same. My role is incredibly diverse and now sees me train, develop and assess colleagues for incident command across Berkshire. I am also a fire investigation officer and I’m responsible for driver training across the Service; be it 4X4 vehicles, heavy goods vehicles or officer response driving.” 

A semi-professional athlete, Rafer found himself looking for a career he could develop within, that still enabled him to continue training and competing in decathlons. He explains: “For me, the benefit of joining the Service was the flexibility which allowed me to keep up my intensive training regime. I was at the peak of my athletics career and the Service supported me completely in this.”

Beckie Hamilton, Firefighter at Newbury Fire Station has worked for RBFRS for 18 years and has also shared her story as part of the campaign. She explains: “One of the most rewarding parts of the role for me is the work we do within the community. We spend time with some of the most vulnerable people in the County. Not only do we provide vital safety information, but residents really benefit from the time we spend talking to them and ensuring that they stay safe.”

Colleagues from all backgrounds and areas of the Service will be giving an insight into what it is like to work for RBFRS.

Lorraine Sullivan, Resourcing and Development Manager at RBFRS, explains: “In addition to our on-call and wholetime firefighters, we have a dedicated team of professionals who ensure we are able to operate 24/7, 365 days a year; from Prevention and Protection, to Learning and Development, IT and HR.

“Over the coming months, we will be sharing the story from our diverse teams, encouraging more people to consider Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service as an employer.”

To become a wholetime firefighter, applicants must be 18 years old or over and must live within a 30-mile radius of the centre of Reading. For more information about the application process, visit