Chief's Blog

NI Fire & Rescue Service

Our People – Our Greatest Asset

Our People – Our Greatest Asset

Category: Recruitment    Date: 1st February 2017       

Last week we took a huge step forward in sustaining our Fire and Rescue Service for the future – we launched Wholetime Firefighter recruitment.

It’s been several years since we last recruited for Wholetime Firefighters and I am all too aware that in those years our Firefighter numbers have decreased as people naturally reached retirement age.   On becoming Chief, it was one of my top priorities to initiate Wholetime recruitment.  Thanks to the support of the Corporate Management Team and NIFRS Board and under the direction of our HR Department we have now started the recruitment process for the next generation of Wholetime Firefighters.

This Wholetime recruitment campaign is also an example of change – positive change – within our organisation.  We have taken action in response to a clear, evidence based, organisational need.  We have talked a lot about the need for change in our organisation and I believe that momentum is now building, as together we work through the process of creating the type of Fire and Rescue Service we need to be in order to fulfil our role in society.   Wholetime Firefighter recruitment is just one example of how we are preparing for the future.

This is a very exciting time for our organisation but it also presents challenges as we balance our need for recruitment against our available budget. We will face this challenge over the coming years but we aim to have our first intake of new trainees starting in September 2017.

The role of a Firefighter has changed dramatically in the last 20 years.   Providing an emergency response will always be at the core of what Firefighters do, but it is the breadth of incidents that we respond to which has changed – fires, road traffic collisions, floods, water rescue, search and rescue incidents are just some examples  of that change.  Being a Firefighter however, is so much more than just responding to incidents, it’s about community education and prevention activities to help keep people safe and reduce the number of incidents happening.  So we are looking for men and women who can fulfil all aspects of the role.

Our single greatest asset is our People.   Without the dedication, hardwork and sense of duty that the men and women of our organisation display on a daily basis, we simply couldn’t exist.  All of us, no matter what our role, are here to fulfil the same goal – to serve the entire community and protect them from the dangers of fire, road traffic collisions and other emergency incidents.

We want the best people for the job to work alongside the best people already in the job!

If you want to find out more about our Wholetime recruitment click on the link

Best wishes,


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