In Cornwall, there are three types of cover for the community fire stations. These are wholetime shift station, wholetime day staffed station and on-call station.
Wholetime shift station
There are four watches (black, red, white and blue) working the shifts from 7am to 7pm and 7pm to 7am, backed up by an on-call crew.
Wholetime day staffed station
Emergency response is provided by two wholetime watches (Orange and Green Watch). Each watch normally consists of five firefighters, one Crew Manager and one Watch Manager. Both Orange and Green Watch work a shift pattern of four days on duty, and four days off (four on, four off).
For additional support during the day and for emergency response during the evening and night, cover is provided by on-call firefighters. They have everyday jobs in the community and respond to an alerter (pager) when an emergency occurs in their station area.
The station is run by the Station Manager. They are supported by the Watch Manager based at the fire station.
We are currently running a trial at Liskeard Community Fire Station to provide greater capacity and enhanced resilience in the east of the county.
This provides a level of wholetime availability during the daytime from 8am to 6.30pm Tuesday to Friday.
These times and days have been based on incident times and also to maximise the level of community engagement we are able to achieve.
Because of the changes to the way our firefighters are working across the county, we are able to use existing capacity to crew the station for the duration of the pilot.
The station is also supported out of hours by an on-call crew of firefighters. It is home to the new multi-skilled Tri-Service Safety Officer, who supports the ambulance service, police and fire and rescue service.
For the four days that the wholetime watches are on duty, the firefighters who live within five minutes of the fire station can also respond to incidents between the hours of 7pm and 7am.
All 31 community fire stations in Cornwall have on-call firefighters. These are men and women who have other jobs and are ready to respond to an incident (a shout) the moment the call comes in. On-call firefighters must live or work within five minutes of the fire station. This enables them to respond to any emergency quickly.
On-call firefighters train for two hours every week on a set night. The training night varies from station to station. Training includes practice utilising different equipment and skills. It ensures that they are prepared to deal with a range of emergencies such as
- road traffic collisions (RTC)
- water rescues
- chemical incidents
- other specialist roles including the co-responder role where the firefighters provide a co-response in medical care, through a partnership with South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT).