Job as a fire station manager

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James Dillon is a fire station manager at the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service headquarters. However, he has recently been tasked with developing training programmes for firefighters and introducing a new promotional structure for the service.

What does your job involve?

Even though my work is now primarily office-based, I still get called to supervise incidents at night. As manager you are responsible for all operational and administrative operations within your area. I supervise the fire crews, their training and recruitment as well.

What about new recruits?

Trainee firefighters already have development programmes. Their training now leads to NVQ Level 3 in Emergency Fire Services – Operations in the Community. Part of my job is to make sure that the support mechanisms for these programmes are in place and that assessment in the workplace is carried out effectively.

How did you start your career in the fire service?

I left school at 16 and worked for British Rail for eight years as an electrician before applying to become a firefighter. I really enjoy the variety of work and the opportunity to help the community.

What about your new task?

Training in the fire service is changing rapidly and I am currently responsible for implementing new assessment and development centres and putting a training strategy together.

This involves the design and development of new training and promotion schemes. I run workshops both at headquarters and at the various stations to talk about this new development structure. The emphasis is on communications and I want to ensure that all the staff have a say in the development of these new changes.

What are the changes?

For the past 60 years, firefighters have received the same type of training collectively. Unfortunately, this doesn't cater for the specialised and individual training that is required today. It needs to be ongoing to reflect changes in the workplace.

The same philosophy is being applied to promotion. The traditional way to progress has always been through promotion exams. By 2007, all training and development will be based on workplace assessment.

James's route to his job as a fire station manager

  • British Rail electrician.
  • HND in Fire Command and Management.
  • Currently studying for a degree in fire related studies.

James's fire station manager tips

  • Make sure you keep up a reasonable fitness level.
  • Its helpful to have the ability to absorb new information quickly.

Fire station manager related jobs

  • Training manager
  • Adult education organiser
  • Human resources officer/manager

Salary as a fire station manager

  • The salary for a station manager is between £29,928 and £33,009.

Getting in

  • All new entrants begin as firefighters before progressing to station managers and other managerial roles.
  • Applicants need to pass written and physical tests.
  • Some fire and rescue services may ask for GCSE/S grades including maths, English and a science-related subject.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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