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Requirements to become a Retained Fire Fighter
Kerry Fire and Rescue Service is a Retained fire service. Fire-fighters are available on an on- call system and generally have other work commitments outside of the fire service. The main requirement when recruiting Firefighters is that they live and work within a reasonable distance of the Fire Station. The position is open to male and female applicants. Though the job is part-time, recruits undergo extensive initial training including a two week Recruit course and a two and a half week Breathing Apparatus Wearers and fire behaviour Course which must be completed successfully.
When a call is received for the Fire Service, the alerters for a particular brigade are activated and the Fire-fighters, who each carry an alerter, respond to the fire station immediately. Wherever they are when they when they are called, they are bound by the rules of the road when commuting to the Fire Station.
Kerry Fire and Rescue recruit persons to the Fire Service as vacancies arise. Vacancies are advertised in the local newspapers and on the Kerry County Council Website.
The steps include:

    • An application form must be completed.
    • A Garda Vetting Form must be completed.
    • When a vacancy appears, interviews are held and qualified candidates are put on a panel.
    • From this panel applicants are asked to carry out a medical to check their fitness levels.
    • Candidates must then successfully complete a one day assessment day.
    • If successful an applicant is sent on a two week Fire Fighter Recruit Induction Course and a short time after they will be sent on a two and a half week Breathing Apparatus Wearers and fire behaviour Course. Once these are successfully completed the new Fire-Fighter will become part of the on call roster system and will attend fires with the remainder of this crew.

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    The responsibilities of a retained firefighter
    As well as responding to emergency calls and undertaking community fire safety initiatives as required, retained
    firefighters attend biweekly training nights in order to maintain competency levels. They must also ensure that their personal fire fighting equipment is maintained to the highest standard to provide the required protection at an emergency incident.
    Firefighters are called upon to tackle a wide range of emergency situations where problem solving skills and initiative will be vital to resolve issues quickly and calmly. Incidents vary from tackling fires and rescuing people from burning buildings to dealing with chemical spillages and road traffic collisions. There are certain personal attributes that you will need to help you fulfill your role as a firefighter; they include confidence, resilience, adaptability, effective communication skills, integrity and a commitment to diversity.
    The role of the firefighter is continually changing as new techniques and equipment are introduced. As well as responding to emergencies they may also be required to work on Community Fire Safety Projects:

    • To educate the public on how to prevent fires and accidents from starting in the first place by visiting schools, community centre‚Äôs and participating in Fire Safety Week activities.
    • Advising people about the use of smoke alarms and having an escape plan available if a fire should occur in their homes.

    Further training and development

    Firefighters are expected to undertake continuous training programmes and attend lectures, exercises, practical training sessions and other forms of training to maintain competence levels. They are expected to take responsibility for developing their own skills and ensuring that their fitness levels are maintained as the work can be demanding, both physically and mentally.

     

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