Fire Control

Fire Control is the nerve centre for emergencies, involved in every incident from beginning to end, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Hereford & Worcester Fire & Rescue Service’s Fire Control function is delivered by a highly skilled team based at Hindlip, Worcester. Fire Control is staffed by four watches who work a combination of day and night shifts using a 2, 2, 4 shift-based system. Day shifts commence at 08:00 hours and night shifts commence at 20:00 hours.

  • Find out where the incident is. We pinpoint the incident location so that we can get an emergency response to the scene as quickly as possible. We do this by combining call-handling skills, the latest mapping software, and local knowledge and experience. 
  • Find out what is going on. We respond to fires, vehicle collisions, water rescues, hazardous material incidents, and many other types of emergencies. We need to understand what’s going on and what’s involved so that we can send out the most appropriate crews and equipment, in order to keep our fire crews and the public safe. 
  • Mobilise the crews. Once we know where it is and what it is, we identify the nearest and most appropriate assets, with the correct equipment to deal with the emergency.  Once we have identified the required assets we mobilise them to the emergency incident. 
  • Give survival guidance and advice. Caller safety is absolutely imperative with all Fire Control staff trained to provide survival guidance. The purpose of this is to aid the survival or escape of a person trapped by fire, water or other hazards in the time between the call being placed and the arrival of fire crews. 
  • Communicate and co-ordinate. Fire Control’s involvement doesn’t finish when we put the phone down to the caller – it’s only just begun. We are in constant communication with the crews for the duration of the incident, exchanging vital information as it progresses, acting on quickly changing situations. We mostly communicate via digital radio, but we also use MDTs (tablet-like devices on fire engines) and mobile phones. We record all information on our mobilising command and control system and action any requests for further assets or support.  We provide ongoing incident support until such time as the incident is finalised and our crews leave the scene.
  • Talk to partner agencies. We frequently collaborate with Police, Ambulance, and other agencies where multiple emergency services are needed, utilising each other’s expertise.

We have many other important duties, which includes checking that essential equipment is functioning, keeping vital information up-to-date (such as availability of fire appliances, crews, and officers), and maintaining our skills by undertaking training and awareness. 

The role of Fire Control is critical to the success of every incident. Every emergency that the Fire Service attend, begins with the 999 call answered by the Fire Control room. 

The role of a Firefighter Control involves tasks such as:

  • Answering 999 calls and extracting information from callers
  • Providing advice and guidance in stressful situations
  • Mobilising resources and equipment
  • Communicating via radio and mobile data terminals to firefighters at the emergency incident
  • Actioning additional requests from the emergency incident
  • Logging all information on the computerised command and control mobilising system
  • Working closely with the public to deliver prevention and protection advice and activities

To become a Firefighter Control in Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, you must:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age at the time of commencing employment
  • Be able to live and work in the UK without any restrictions
  • Have no unspent criminal convictions
  • Hold GCSE grades A-C in Maths and English, or equivalent
  • Be fluent in spoken English

The role of Firefighter Control is a challenging, but very rewarding career. We are looking for individuals with the following skills and abilities:

  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Have good keyboard and ICT skills, including being able to type on a keyboard
  • Be calm and confident when working under pressure
  • Good problem solving and decision making
  • Desire to work with members of the community
  • Be a team player with the ability to work independently when required
  • Have excellent multi-tasking skills
  • Be positive in your approach and committed to learn and develop
  • Be prepared to work a shift duty system including nights, weekends and public holidays
  • Take responsibility to represent Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service at all time

Fire Control staff work a shift duty system, ensuring the Fire Control functions are maintained 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The current shift system employed in Fire Control is 12 hour shifts comprising of days and nights. 

There is a generous leave entitlement of 30 days plus public holidays.

A full uniform is provided for all Fire Control staff.

Salary scales are in accordance with national pay scales. The starting salary for a trainee Firefighter Control is currently £25,819 per annum. This rises through the period of training and development with a current competent salary of £34,415.

All new trainee Firefighter Control undergo an intense training programme, structured to develop the skills, abilities and qualities needed for the role.

Employment is subject to a probationary period while you are in the training and development phase of your role, up to a maximum period of three years in accordance with your terms and conditions of employment. During your probationary period you will be required to demonstrate a satisfactory level of performance.

We aim to provide equality of opportunity in employment and service delivery and welcome applications from people from all backgrounds and sections of society. Please visit our Equality and diversity page to find out more.