There are many benefits of working for Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service that you may not be aware of. We’ve listed some of the main ones below.
Health and Wellbeing
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service offers all employees access to a range of services to support them in their physical and mental health and wellbeing:
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to the prevention of work-related ill-health and the promotion and maintenance of a high degree of physical, mental and social well-being of all its employees. We strive to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of the Service by protecting and enhancing the health of all its employees.
Our external Occupational Health service provides a full range of services to staff including pre-employment screening, health surveillance and advice and support on general health & wellbeing issues.
Health and Wellbeing Events
We regularly hold Health and Wellbeing events at our Headquarters in conjuction with our Occupational Health provider. Employees have access to blood pressure checks, cholestorol testing and flu jabs carried out by our Occupational Health Advisers. There are healthy snacks on offer as well as a large range of information on general fitness, Cycle to Work, Firefighters Charity, wellbeing and Women's and Men's health awareness initiatives.
Gym Equipment - Watt Bikes and Treadmills
Every Fire Station has a WattBike on site as well as some basic gym equipement such as kettlebells and matts. Over half of our stations also have a treadmill too.
All employees have access to a number of external local gyms at a discounted rate.
Mind Blue Light Programme
As part of our ongoing commitment to health and wellbeing, we are signed up to the MIND Blue light Time to Change pledge to show our commitment as an emergency service employer to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination within our service. The programme offers mental health support for emergency services employees.
We work with an external Fitness Adviser who delivers our annual fitness testing for all operational staff, also offering health and fitness advice to employees. We also have our internal Fitness Associate Trainers who can work with employees on a 1-2-1 basis to create individual fitness plans to improve or maintain fitness levels.
We offer all employees access to physiotherapy regardless of whether or not their injury/issue is related to work. Physiotherapy is accessed through a referral to Ocupational Health who then refer you on to the Orthopaedic Hospital.
TRiM and Mental Health First Aiders
The aim of TRiM (Trauma Risk Management) is to effectively manage the welfare needs of individuals who are, or have been, exposed to potentially traumatic incidents. It is also to give an awareness of the cumulative effects of a number of such incidences in a short space of time, and for assistance with other stress related issues that are affecting a person’s work/life balance. At Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service we have a number of employees who have been trained to be TRiM Practitioners and all staff and their families can contact them if they are seeking help.
We also have a numerous employees who have undertaken training to become Mental Health First Aiders and are a point of contact if you, or someone you are concerned about, are experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. They are not therapists or psychiatrists but they can give you initial support and signpost you to appropriate help if required
The service has a Brigade Chaplain who is able to offer appropriate pastoral guidance to staff and their families of all faiths. The Chaplain will hold services or rememberance ceremonies for families of SFRS staff. In addition, at certain incidents and especially in the case of major incidents of a catastrophic nature, the Chaplain may be able to offer some comfort to both victims and their families.
Cycle to Work
The cycle to work scheme is an employee benefit that can save you up to 42% on a bike and equipment, tax free, allowing staff to choose a bike or equipment of their choice up to the value of £1200. The scheme is a hire agreement between yourself and Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service and allows you to spread the cost through tax free, salary sacrifice.
Healthcare Benefit Plan
We have teamed up with Paycare to offer employees a discounted healthcare benefit plan. A Paycare policy can cover you and your partner and gives you the ability to reclaim money you spend on everyday healthcare. Employees who join choose the level of cover which best suits them and your monthly premium is then taken via payroll deduction.
You can claim for a variety of costs such as sight tests, glasses and contact lenses, dental check ups and hygiene appointments, chiropody, physiotherapy and many more.
The Firefighters Charity is the UK's leading provider of services that enhance quality of life for serving and retired firefighters, Fire Control Staff, Support Services Staff and their dependents. The Charity offers support services across the UK such as physical rehabilitation, psychological rehabilitation, recuperation breaks, child and family programme and nursing care as well as advice, information and support.
Further information is available at www.firefighterscharity.org.uk.
Work Life Balance
We offer gernous holiday provison which varies depedning on your role, grade as well as any previous service with other public sector employers. There are also additional days leave entitlement for long service.
Employees are able to request career breaks (unpaid) of up to 3 years.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to helping employees manage the increasing demands that today’s working life places upon them, and wishes to help provide individuals with the opportunity to balance their work and home life to the benefit of the employee and the Service.
We currently operate a Flexi Working Hours scheme for non-operational staff to help them balance the demands of domestic and family commitments with work responsibilities.
Other flexible working arrangements include part-time working and job sharing and there are a number of shift patterns which operational staff work.
We realise sometimes in life, emergencies crop up which you may need to take some time off work to deal with. Special leave allows for such eventualities and may be paid or unpaid depending on the circumstances.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Servie offer generous maternity provision. All pregnant employees are entitled to take 52 weeks maternity leave consisting of 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity and 26 weeks Additional Maternity Leave. For those with more than 1 years service they will receive 26 weeks full pay followed by 6 weeks half pay and then 7 weeks paid at a ratee of SMP or 90% of weekly pay if this is less.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service provides 2 weeks paid paternity leave for expectant fathers and adoptive fathers. Paternity pay is calculated for the first week at a weeks’ pay or one duty rota or average weekly earnings in respect of retained employees. The second week is paid at the weekly rate of Statutory Paternity Pay.
Eligible employees have a right to 18 weeks unpaid leave in total for each child.
Shared Parental Leave
Shared Parental Leave is a flexible statutory leave entitlement available to parents and if eligible, parents can share up to 50 weeks of Shared Parental Leave between them during the first year following the birth or adoption of a child, in order to care for that child.
Childcare Voucher Scheme
As of 4 October 2018, childcare vouchers closed for new parent registrations. For those already registered this scheme allows staff to pay for childcare using a salary sacrifice, which can reduce your tax liabilities, therefore reducing the cost of your childcare.
Learning and Development
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service are committed to developing employees and the service as a whole. The improvement of services also relies on employees’ individual commitment and skills. Learning and development plays a crucial role in ensuring skills and knowledge are updated appropriately.
Induction programme for all new staff
To make sure you settle in and feel welcome, you will receive a comprehensive induction into the organisation including input from a variety of departments.
LEO is Shropshire Fire and Rescue’s interactive e-learning website. You can access development modules from work, your computer at home or a mobile device such as a phone or tablet. LEO is a one-stop shop for your learning and development, with a growing catalogue of courses available.
We think it’s important that everyone has an appraisal. At Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service we refer to this as an Individual Personal Development Record (IPDR). This is the opportunity to not only review your performance but also to discuss any learning or development opportunities to enable you to develop yourself or your role. It also helps us identify and nurture talent within the Service.
We offer a range of apprenticeships as a method of development for exisiting employees, ranging from Administration, Finance, HR, IT, Fire Safety and Youth Work. We are proud to have a good relationship with a local college that provides this support to our employees.
Development and Promotion Opportunities
For those of you who want to progress, there is a clear promotion pathway within the operational service and we have recently introduced The Career Progression Gateway (CPG) online assessment system to assist with the promotion process.
At every stage of the promotion pathway in the operational side of the service, structured development will support you in your new role. This includes both operational training, i.e., incident command and health and, but also the management and leadership skills that you will need to effectively manage a Crew. This includes topics such as disciplinary and grievance, attendance management, handling difficult conversations. You will work through a development programme, which will take up to 2 years to complete and you will be supported throughout by your Assessor and the Development Team. After successful assessment of your programme, you will be deemed as competent in your role.
In the non-uniform side of the service, we recognise that it’s really important to help you identify what qualifications, skills and experience are needed for each role within the Service in case of vacancies. That’s why we have a Career Development site for non-uniform staff, that can help you understand what additional skills you will need if you were considering promotion. We will support staff to apply, retrain and develop in their respective role. We also provide management training as well as role specific technical qualifications.
Funding for Further Education/Qualifications
We recognise the importance that enhanced knowledge and skills bring to the workplace. Our Fees Committee meet twice yearly and applications are encouraged from employees to apply for financial support towards higher education degrees/qualifications that will enhance their own knowledge and ultimately provide a benefit to the Service.
All employees at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service have access to a pension scheme and all eligible employees are auto enrolled into a pension scheme on appointment. Our Pension Schemes are administered by the West Yorkshire Pension Fund.
Wholetime and On-Call staff are eligible for membership to the 2015 Firefighters’ Pension Scheme. Support Staff and our Control Staff are eligible for membership to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). As a member of either scheme you will pay a pension contribution which is a percentage of your pensionable pay and the employer will also pay pension contributions.
There are a range of offers and benefits available to SFRS employees both online and upon production of ID such as Food & Drink, Entertainment and Health & Fitness. You can also access more online and high-street discounts with a Blue Light Card.
SFRS employees can now save and borrow with repayments straight from their pay with Serve and Protect Credit Union. Serve and Protect Credit Union are a free employee benefit which is exclusive to the Police, Prison, Military, Fire and Health Services. They are here to help employees save money and there if they need to borrow throughout your career. They have easy access Regular Saver accounts, whilst also providing access to affordable credit with repayments straight from your pay. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, they are owned by and run for their members – offering an ethical alternative to other financial providers.
These are set nationally and are dependent on your role. Operational staff benefit from six months full pay and six months half pay. Support staff also benefit from six months full pay and six months half pay, however this is dependent on length of service.
Free car parking and electric car charging points
Free car parking is available on site to all employees at all Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service sites. We also have a network of electric car charging points at various locations around the county, more than any other single employer in Shropshire.
Although staff have fixed working bases, as and when staff are expected to travel around the county for meetings or training we have a pool of fleet cars for staff to use. We also undertake driving assessments with staff to ensure they are safe and feel comfortable driving our vehicles.
Social and Welfare Association
The Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service Social and Welfare Association is a service for all employees whether operational, non-operational or civilians. The Association actively encourages and organises indoor and outdoor sports, games and social activities such as football, cycling and golf. There is also the opportunity to participate in a monthly tote draw.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service ensure acts of bravery or other commendable actions by Service personnel receive appropriate recognition locally or nationally. We also recognise long service at 20, 30 and 40 years with Long Service Awards presented at annual events attended by their friends and family.
We also acknowledge the achievements of Firefighters who have completed recruits’ courses and development programmes as well as presenting achievers’ awards for existing staff.
We understand that not all our employees feel they are able to have a voice and to try and make Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service fully inclusive we have recently introduced a Voices Group. We want everyone to be able to come to work and be their authentic self, and in order to do that we want to listen to our employees to see how we can make improvements.
Employees can volunteer to be representatives for our under-represented groups such as BAME (Black Asian or Minority Ethnic), Disability (including Mental Health), LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender), Women’s. We also have an established Dyslexia Networking Group.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service recognise the following trade unions at SFRS: UNISON, Fire Brigades Union (FBU), Fire and Rescue Services Association (FRSA), Fire Officers Association (FOA) and The Fire Leaders Association (FLA). Further details of membership benefits can be found on their websites.