Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

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FOI / 4264 / 2021 - Firefighters

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:

Headcount as of 31 March 2021. These figures reflect the primary role of each person and so individuals that have secondary on call contracts are not included in these numbers.

1. How many firefighters are currently employed by your fire service? 1044 (all roles)

2. How many of your firefighters are on call? 395 (all roles)

3. How many hours are your on-call firefighters (if any) contracted to per week as a minimum? On Call colleagues are contracted to provide 90 hours minimum availability

4. Do all your on-call firefighters have an annual appraisal? Yes

5. Are their appraisals conducted on a one-to-one basis? Yes

6. Who conducts the appraisal, and do you have an example of the form used? See attached Word document. Appraisals are conducted by an individual’s line manager. Watch Managers may choose to delegate firefighter appraisals to crew managers.

7. Are there any other forms of acknowledging good performance/achievements by on call firefighters? The Service holds a monthly recognition scheme, nominations can be made at any time by any employee for individuals or teams who have brought our Service values to life by having made a significant contribution. The awards recognise those who have gone above and beyond the normal day to day expectations of their roles, with a high level of commitment and personal positive influence shown. In addition to the monthly awards, the Service also holds our annual Celebrating our People Awards which recognises the achievements of our staff. We were unable to hold an awards ceremony in 2020 due to the restrictions in place however the award categories celebrated in 2019 were: Employee of the Year, Team of the Year, Unsung Hero, Inspirational Leader, Excellence in Innovation, Outstanding Contribution to the Service, Employers Award and Volunteer of the Year. Acts of gallantry or meritorious conduct displayed at incidents, either by members of the Service or the public, are recognised with a Chief Fire Officers/Chief Executive Commendations. This includes exceptional actions at operational incidents or outstanding performance or special achievements in the course of the duties carried out by an employee or group of staff.

8. What, if any, equipment (other than clothing and pager/alerter) are your on-call firefighters provided with? An on-call firefighter is issued with nothing in addition to a whole-time firefighter, except for a mobile phone dependant on rank/role. Both whole time and on-call firefighters have the same level of PPE, RPE & uniform.

9. Are email bulletins/updates sent directly to all on call firefighters? If so, how regularly? A weekly email bulletin, The Shout, is sent to all colleagues (including all on-call) every Monday afternoon. In addition to this, a more concise on-call specific version, 60 Seconds, goes to representatives at all on-call stations (also sent every Monday afternoon). This is designed to be read out on a drill/training night and made available for all to view (for example on station noticeboards). This is sent to a combination of work/personal emails and is also shared via WhatsApp. On a fortnightly basis (every other Friday), a message from our Chief Fire Officer / Chief Executive is also shared with all colleagues. Other non email-based communications, such as livestreams and news stories, are also regularly available to all.

10. What is your HMI inspection rating? This information can be found at Fire and Rescue - HMICFRS (


Thank you for your interest in Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, we hope this satisfies your request.