On-call firefighter pay explained

How does the payment system work?

On Call Firefighters are paid two retaining fees per year, one in June and the second in December, the retaining fee that On Call staff receive is based on the average amount of availability they have provided in the preceding six months 

On Call Firefighter in County Durham & Darlington on average provides 80 hours per week. 

The below retaining fees are based on what you would receive per annum for the cover shown. 





120 hrs per week




80 hrs per week




60 hrs per week




On-call firefighters receive an hourly rate of pay for conducting the following activities:

  • Attending training evenings (Drill nights)
  • Turnout
  • Training Course
  • Community Safety
  • Standard Tests
  • Tactical exercises 
  • High risk visits
  • Hydrant inspections

Trainee firefighter: hourly rate - £11.05 

When you start your career as an On Call Firefighter you will be classed as a Trainee Firefighter, after you have completed all initial basic training and completed a “safe to ride” assessment you will move into the Development phase

Development firefighter hourly rate £11.51

Once you have successfully completed your initial training, you will be placed on the development pay scale. you will remain on this scale until all risk critical training, development modules and end point assessments are completed successfully. Upon completion of the development phase a member of the Divisional Management team will verify the evidence as meeting the standard, you will then be classified as a competent firefighter and receive a competent rate of pay

Competent firefighter hourly rate £14.72

You will be required to attend risk critical courses, weekly training sessions and carry out activities to maintain your competency as a Firefighter.

You will be automatically enrolled into the New Firefighters Pension Scheme 2015.  You may, however, opt out of contributions to this scheme.

All above information on pay is correct as of July 2022