Fire and rescue control operator
With around 32,000 calls coming into the
control room each year, this team are a vital link in the work of
Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
The fire and rescue control operators’ job is to obtain enough
information from the caller and, within 90 seconds of taking the
call, to decide what fire crews and equipment to send to the
incident. Sometimes this will be quite simple but on other
occasions they will have to use their calming influence to talk to
distressed callers and pinpoint their location on a motorway or in
a remote rural area. At times the survival advice they give members
of the public over the phone really can save lives.
Once firefighters have arrived at the incident, they remain in
constant contact with the control room to report on the progress of
the incident and to request any additional crews or equipment that
may be required.
They are also a central communication point between our
firefighters and agencies such as the police and ambulance
Frequently asked questions
What are you looking for?
To be a fire and rescue control operator, you should be able to
demonstrate the following personal attributes:
- Confident communication skills (oral, written and comprehension
- Effective and confident telephone communicator
- Good keyboard skills
- Be able to work calmly under pressure maintaining attention to
- Enjoy contributing to a small team environment
- Be able to prioritise events and take appropriate action
- Be able to absorb verbal and written information and apply this
both practically and theoretically to NVQ Level 3 standard or
- Be self motivated, with aptitude and ability to undertake
intensive initial and ongoing training and assessment
What is the recruitment process?
When a vacancy arises and after completing an application form,
those people short-listed will be asked to take part in a selection
of general ability tests. These tests focus on your listening
skills, English comprehension and your keyboard accuracy and speed.
Success in these tests leads to a formal interview and medical
examination. An appointment will then depend upon satisfactory
references and Criminal Record Bureau check.
How old must I be to apply?
You must be aged 18 or over at the time of your application.
What are the working hours?
During training, hours are Monday to Friday 0900-1700. KFRS runs
two shift patterns:
- 42 hour per week average across an eight week rota, comprised
of two consecutive day duties (0700-1900), followed by two
consecutive night duties (0900-1700). There are then four rest
- 29 hours per week average across a five week rota, comprised of
early shifts (0800-1500) and late shifts (1500-2200).
Where will I be based?
You will be based at the Fire and Police Control Centre, Police
Headquarters, Sutton Road, Maidstone, Kent.
What training will I receive?
The initial training is an intensive course lasting five
weeks and is classroom based. It includes both theory and
practical application of skills. Once you join the overlay shift or
one of the four 'watches', your training will continue to
develop and improve your skills.
Is there a pension scheme?
Yes – You can contribute to the Local Government Pension
How much annual leave will I be entitled to?
Fire and rescue control operators are entitled to 30 days annual
leave each year. You will also receive a paid holiday on, or in
respect of, public holidays.
Will I have to wear a uniform?
Yes, a uniform is provided.