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About the different stations

In Cornwall, there are three types of cover for the community fire stations. These are wholetime shift station, wholetime day staffed station and on-call station. Further details about each can be found below:

Wholetime shift station

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Tolvaddon and Falmouth are shift stations which provide 24 hour immediate response provided by wholetime firefighters and supported by an additional crew of on-call firefighters

There are four watches (black, red, white and blue) working the shifts from 7am to 7pm and 7pm to 7am, backed up by an on-call crew.

Penzance, Truro, Newquay, St Austell and Bodmin community fire stations are staffed during the day between 7am and 7pm by wholetime firefighters.

Emergency response is provided by two wholetime watches (Orange and Green Watch), with each watch normally consisting of five firefighters, one Crew Manager and one Watch Manager. Both Orange and Green Watch work a shift pattern of four days on duty, and four days off (four on, four off).

For additional support during the day and for emergency response during the evening and night, cover is provided by on-call firefighters, who have everyday jobs in the community and respond to an alerter (pager) when an emergency occurs in their station area.

The station is run by the Station Manager and they are supported by the Watch Manager based at the fire station.

Additionally to the above, we are currently running a 12 month Cornwall Crewing Model pilot at Liskeard Community Fire Station to provide greater capacity and enhanced resilience in the east of the county. This provides a level of wholetime availability during the daytime from 8am – 6.30pm Tuesday to Friday. These times and days have been based on incident times and also to maximise the level of community engagement we are able to achieve. Because of the changes to the way our firefighters are working across the county, we are able to use existing capacity to crew the station for the duration of the 12 month pilot.

The station is also supported out of hours by an on-call crew of firefighters and is home to the new multi-skilled Tri-Service Officer, who supports the ambulance service, police and fire and rescue service.

For the four days that the wholetime watches are on duty, the firefighters who live within four minutes of the fire station can also respond to incidents between the hours of 7pm and 7am.  

To find out more about becoming a wholetime firefighter, visit the service careers web page.

All 31 community fire stations in Cornwall have on-call firefighters (men and women who have other jobs) that are ready to respond to an incident (a shout) the moment the call comes in.  On-call firefighters must live and/or work within four minutes of the fire station, which enables them to respond to any emergency quickly.

On-call firefighters train for two hours every week on a set night (note: the training night varies from station to station), to practice utilising different equipment and skills and ensures that they are prepared to deal with a range of emergencies such as fires, road traffic collisions (RTC), water rescues, chemical incidents and other specialist roles including the co-responder role where the firefighters provide a co-response in medical care, through a partnership with South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT).

To find out more about becoming an on-call firefighter, visit our pages on Service careers.