Careers at GMFRS

A core part of being a Firefighter is responding to emergencies and saving lives. As well as fighting fires, Firefighters attend other emergencies such as road, rail and air traffic accidents, chemical spills, floods, and terror attacks.

We place a firm emphasis on fire prevention, and our Firefighters spend a great deal of time promoting fire safety within the community. Through our free Safe and Well checks, Firefighters visit homes, assess their risk from fire, check smoke alarms, and advise people on how best to plan their escape routes in case of fire.

Firefighters carry out building inspections to make sure that local businesses are complying with fire safety regulations. They also work closely with other public services and community organisations to promote important fire and water safety advice.

You can find out more about GMFRS through our social media channels.

Twitter (external website)

Facebook (external website)

Instagram (external website)

Job roles at GMFRS

After you've completed your two-year apprenticeship, you'll become a fully qualified Firefighter. At GMFRS, there are lots of opportunities for career progression and to develop your skills. If you chose to remain working on the fire engines, you can apply for a promotion to become a Crew Manager and then a Watch Manager. Or you can apply for a range of specialist roles within the Service.

Becoming a Crew Manager is the first step into a line-management role. Crew Managers support Watch Managers in the day-to-day supervision the team, helping to deliver community-based activities, as well as ensuring GMFRS is a safe and effective service. Crew Managers lead teams in emergency situations and provide direction at operational incidents.

The next step into management is becoming a Watch Manager. As well as ensuring the team is safe, effective and delivering day-to-day activities that meet wider organisational objectives, Watch Managers provide leadership and direction to maintain standards and improve how GMFRS delivers to the diverse communities it serves. At larger incidents, Watch Managers lead teams within functional sectors to successfully coordinate and resolve operational response. 

Corporate trainers deliver practical and theoretical elements of the recruits course to ensure new recruits are safe to start their career as Apprentice Firefighters. They also deliver training to operational crews, both refresher training and new skills. This includes breathing apparatus, road traffic collision, incident command and much more.

Fire Safety Officers keep people and buildings safe from fire. They audit buildings and provide advice to owners or tenants on how to keep safe. This includes looking at fire alarms, means of escape, occupancy and more. Fire Safety Officers also take part in licence and building regulation consultations.

The Fire Investigation team investigate the cause of a fire and give evidence in court. They feed the results of their investigations into fire safety and Firefighter training. They also use fire dogs to help identify sources of fire and accelerants.

Operational Support Officers research, test and trial all equipment and technology used by our operational crews, from fire engines to gloves. They arrange trials to test safety and efficiency then write detailed reports on their findings. This work can take them all over the country and even abroad if needed.

The Contingency Planning team work with event organisers to ensure that large public events are safe for those that attend. Officers assist with safety control measures and prepare plans how to deal with incidents at large events, such as Christmas markets, football matches or large music events.

Hazardous Materials Officers assist all emergency services with incidents involving chemicals that may be in the form of powders, solids, liquids or gases. They use specialist equipment to detect, identify and monitor chemicals at incidents. They advise on how to resolve incidents safely to prevent damage to life and the environment.

Drone Operators assist crews at incidents to get an overall picture of an incident using overhead images and use thermal imaging cameras to identify hotspots. Drones are used at large building fires, moorland fires, water incidents and to help locate missing people.

Senior Managers are responsible for the efficient running of GMFRS. They also provide strategic advice and support to resolve operational incidents and to implement an Integrated Risk Management Plan and Fire Plan.

Salary and benefits

Below is the current salary structure.


2023 Annual Salary

Trainee Firefighter £27,178
Development Firefighter £28,310
Firefighter £36,226
Crew Manager £40,161
Watch Manager £42,170
Station Manager £48,116
Group Manager £55,415
Area Manager £65,056


During the training course, you’ll work 42 hours a week.

Following completion of the training course, you’ll be working on a rota system which will include evenings, weekends and bank holidays. Most Firefighters work 42 hours a week across two day and two night shifts. This means you get a good amount of time off duty.

Annual Leave

Firefighters get 30 days of paid annual leave. After five years’ service, this increases to 33 days.


You will automatically be admitted into the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 2015, unless you advise otherwise. This is a contributory pension scheme.

Other Benefits

Confidential, personalised support to the whole of the fire services community, delivering mental health, physical health and social wellbeing services.

Find out more about The Fire Fighters Charity (external website)

Savings and loans through a not-for-profit financial co-operative.

Find out more about Flamesavers Credit Union (external website)

A benefits and saving scheme that gives employees access to a range of benefits and discounts on travel, shopping, eating out, cinema tickets, health, beauty, and more.

GMFRS employees can apply for season tickets for their transport to work at a corporate discounted rate.

Allows you to purchase a tax-free bicycle and pay for it through 18 monthly instalments.

Salary sacrifice scheme for benefits such as 24/7 GP telephone service, dental emergencies and claims for x-rays.

Staff Networks

Staff Networks aim to provide support for staff, to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace and provide a voice for staff on issues covered by the Equality Act 2010.

The Staff Networks include:

  • Rainbow Staff Network for employees who identify as: Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer and Questioning, Intersex. Ace+.

  • RISE Staff Network for employees supporting race and faith equality in the workplace.

  • GM Women’s Success and Support staff network for all Women and Allies in the workplace.

  • Dis-Ability Employee Staff Network for employees supporting equal access in the workplace for physical and hidden Dis-abilities.

  • EDI Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for members who are active allies, shaping equality across the service.

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at GMFRS