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Commercial Services



Salary and allowances

As a trainee on-call firefighter on the Retained Duty System (RDS) you will initially be placed on the trainee rate of pay.

Upon completion of your training course your pay will increase to the development rate until you have completed your development phase and are deemed competent. You will then be paid at the appropriate competent rate of pay.
The retaining fee is for staff offering full cover. Part cover staff are paid 75% of the full cover retaining fee.


On-call firefighter rates of pay
Retaining fee (£) (annual)
Hourly rate (£)
Attendance fee (£)
Turn out fee (£) Drill night (£)
2,291 10.46 9.25 14.48 20.92
2,386 10.90 9.47 14.92 21.80
3,053 13.94 10.99 17.96 27.88


The retaining fee is divided into 12 monthly payments and paid by direct credit to your bank account or building society account. This is the fee for being ‘on-call’ whilst at home or at work in your primary employment.

The hourly rates above are paid when you are at work for us (Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service), either on a fire call, training course or a drill night, including your initial training. The rates depend upon whether you are a Trainee, in Development or Competent.

Pay for availability

Firefighters at a number of our fire stations are now being paid using the new Pay for Availability (P4A) system. The fire stations with vacancies operating this pay scheme are Appledore, Ashburton, Axminster, Bampton, Bovey Tracey, Braunton, Clyst St George, Dartmouth, Dulverton, Exmouth, Hatherleigh, Holsworthy, Honiton, Ilfracombe, Princetown, Salcombe, Seaton, Yelverton, Wellington and Wells.

Under P4A, on-call firefighters are paid by the hour for each hour they commit to be available. Depending on their personal circumstances, individuals can choose to be available for anywhere between 30 and 120 hours a week. This provides a great deal of flexibility on the hours firefighters need to commit to and gives them a better work-life balance.

Your contract will be based on the number of hours you choose to commit. You will be paid an hourly rate for every hour you are available on-call depending on the time of day. Hours between 8am and 6pm on any day of the week attract a higher rate of pay.

Some examples of what you could earn on top of any primary employment:

Jane is a single parent providing availability of 38 hours a week during the day, she earns £6,430 a year.

Dave work shifts while providing availability of 96 hours per week, split between days and nights, he earns £12,243 a year.

Sarah has her own business and is available for 65 hours per week including some weekends, she earns £8,823 a year.

(Figures vary accoring to station activity and hours of cover provided)

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