Fire-fighters are considered to be professionals today. The fireman responds, as part of his duty, to emergency situations like fire, flood and even medical exigencies. Definitely he takes risks, as part of his duty of helping the community. So the need is for men of calibre to become a fireman in the Fire & Rescue Services (FRS).
Such a demanding profession definitely must attract benefits. As most firemen are employed by government bodies, he is considered as a government employee and enjoys similar benefits. Others of the profession are employed in industry and special organisations like the airport or oil refineries. Another organisation which has its own team of fire-fighters are the military. They too enjoy the benefits pertaining to defence personnel.
The fire services are part of or under the Fire & Rescue Services (FRS). This body is legislated by government and managed by the Fire Authority. So what are previously known as fire brigades or county fire services operating their respective regions come under the Fire & Rescue Authority, which is a legislative, public and administrative body.
Firemen stand to benefit from medical benefits and dental coverage. Their families also benefit. The firemen have access to union memberships, insurance coverage, retirement programmes, etc. A New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (NFPS) was introduced. It is for regular and retained fire-fighters employed since 6th April 2006. Salary Benefits: There’s a national agreed salary structure for firefighters. Starting salaries are around £21,157 and raise up to £28,199. Crew managers and station mangers earn more. Higher up the rung are better salaries.
The fireman enjoys a status in society or community. Mostly fire-fighters enjoy the special work environment they are in. They have a sense of camaraderie and trust, apart form a work schedule that exacts extremely long hours of stressful work, but alternatively enjoy long periods of rest and follow-up training. They go through physical conditioning besides class-room training and continuing education.
The training modules help the fireman to become a capable person. Leadership and management skills are taught. They are given career development guidance too. They are moulded mentally and physically to be a fitter person
Bodies or associations like the National Association of Retired Firefighters (NARF) further fight for benefits of the Fireman. Formed in 1968, the association fights for former fire-fighters, their widows and families. This organisation covers all of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Fire service women too have associations and are benefited. Even retained fire-fighters get benefits through the system.
Re-employment of Fire-fighters:
Retired firemen also have the chance of getting further employment on contract basis with the same department or elsewhere. Their professional skills and experience benefit them even in their later years. 17 colleges in the UK run Firefighter Training courses. The Fire Service College is a leading institution meeting the demands of the UK Fire & Rescue Service. Avenues are open for re-training and re-employment in to other sectors and industry. Some become trainers. Some are appointed as a Fire Safety Engineer.
The firefighting profession does have unique benefits and advantages apart from being an important duty for the community at large. It’s a career which has undergone changes over the centuries.