Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Meet James, an on-call firefighter in Dovercourt

James Hennessy, 34, is a depot foreman with a traffic management company who is also paid to protect his community as an on-call firefighter in Dovercourt.

James became an on-call firefighter because he wanted to be more involved with his local community. “I am a people person and new to Dovercourt,” says James. “I have met a lot new friends by joining the Fire Service.”

While working full time, James provides 90 hours cover a week overnight in the week and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. He is paid an hourly rate for the time he can be on-call and a further pay out when he is called out to an incident.

He says, “I still easily manage to get my 90 hours in and sometimes I can get more. I get a real sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) if I’m not on call during the weekend.”

James goes about his daily business until the pager sounds, he then has to get to Dovercourt Fire Station within five minutes. He could be heading to a house fire, a road traffic collision or even a flood. On-call firefighters attend a variety of incidents.

“Everything about it is awesome,” says James. “For the short amount of time I have been doing it, I have not stopped learning new things.

“Everyone you meet is really friendly and willing to go out their way to help even if it means coming in extra days.”

We’re currently recruiting on-call firefighters at Dovercourt Fire Station. James’ advice for anyone interested in the role is: “Pop into Dovercourt Fire Station during one of our open days this week and speak to someone …take the plunge.

“I have enjoyed every second of being an on-call firefighter and the assistance you get from the wider service is amazing. It is one of the best choices I have made.”

We're recruiting on-call firefighters at Dovercourt Fire Station.

Find out more about the role at

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