Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Meet Karl, an on-call firefighter in Great Baddow

51-year-old Karl Benham is a personal wellness coach and he's also paid to protect his community as an on-call firefighter.

Karl works from home and is able to give his time at Great Baddow Fire Station during the day and at weekends. He is paid for his time on standby and then receives an additional payment when he is called to duty.

As soon as the pager sounds, Karl makes his way to the fire station within 5 minutes and heads to the incident with his colleagues.

"As I work from home, I am able to provide cover during working hours and still have my evenings free," says Karl. He provides 90 hours' cover a week.

As a Great Baddow resident, Karl wanted to give back to his local community as an on-call firefighter. He has lived and worked in the area for more than 20 years and his children grew up and went to school in the town. 

"The thing I love most about being an on-call firefighter is the team work and the camaraderie within the station," says Karl. "And the variety of jobs we attend." Karl could be called to a variety of incidents. "These could be anything from a house fire to helping someone who is locked out of their home."

We're currently recruiting on-call firefighters at Great Baddow Fire Station. Karl advises anyone interested in the role to: "Come to the station during one of our open events this week to find out more about the role and meet some of the serving on-call crew."

Find out more about the role at

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