Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

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FOI / 4131 / 2020 - Whole-time fire-fighters


Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold the information you have requested.

Please see below the answer to your request.

Questions and final response:

Please may you outline how many new Whole-time Firefighters you have recruited in the 2018 and 2019 recruitment drives respectively? In this, can you outline how many in each cohort?

Secondly, can you outline the Service’s strategy for future Whole-time recruitment? What are the aims in how many new recruits they wish to join, and if, there are any forecasts as to when these goals should be met?

And finally, can you outline how many operational Whole-time firefighters the Service is forecasting to retire for the next 5 years? If there is no forecast for 5 years exactly, then please outline whatever forecasts you have for the future, whether that be just this year and next year for example.


1)     Since restarting Whole-time Recruitment activities in the spring of 2018, we have recruited 99 Whole-time firefighters. This figure includes existing On-Call Firefighters that have transferred from one duty system to another and also a number of external transfers from other Services.  

Cohort numbers as follows:












23 (2 cohorts)


18 (2 cohorts)




2)     We have recently produced a workforce plan, which focuses on operational requirements over the next five years. This has identified the requirement for ongoing recruitment of up to two squads of 18 recruits per year. Our first recruitment campaign to continue to build our operational capacity will commence later this year with a view of on boarding in 2021. 

3)     Based upon Firefighter (only) numbers at the end of December 2019 and forecast retirement dates, we anticipate 62 Firefighters retiring before the end of 2025. This includes a number of existing employees that could have retired prior to the end of 2019 but have not yet retired.