Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

Volunteering: Frequently Asked Questions

Who can volunteer?

If you’d like to support us, we’d love to have you involved! Our volunteers come from lots of different backgrounds – from professionals to students.

Do I need specific skills to volunteer?

Experience is always useful for any role, as well as a friendly attitude and a willingness to get involved. Please consult the individual role descriptions for desirable skills and experience.

What will I get out of volunteering?

It depends on what motivates you. Volunteering with NIFRS will mean you are making a difference to your local community. You could also benefit from using your existing skills, learning new ones, and being with other people. If you’re looking for work or a change of career, you will gain valuable experience for your CV.

How much time do I need to volunteer?

We’re very flexible: it depends on the role and how much time you are able to give. Some of our volunteers might give two hours a fortnight or get involved in one-off events that last a few hours, while others might give two or three days a week. A lack of time certainly doesn’t mean you can’t help us.

Can I contact my local station if I am interested in volunteering?

You can either contact your local station directly or email or telephone the Volunteer Co-ordinator (julie.rea@nifrs.org)who will then be in touch with you.

Can I claim expenses?

We believe you should never be out of pocket if you volunteer for us. We’ll reimburse for agreed, out-of-pocket expenses.

What is the minimum age to volunteer?

You must be 18 years and over to volunteer.

What is the maximum age to volunteer?

There is no maximum age to volunteer with NIFRS.

Will I need references?

Yes. We will take up two references if you are selected for any volunteering role. During the application process you’ll need to provide the names and contact details of two people who have known you for at least 2 years, are over 18 years of age and who are not related to you.

Will you provide me with a reference?

Once you’ve been volunteering with us for six months, we’d be happy to provide you with a reference.

Will you do a criminal records check (Access NI)?

Yes.

I have a criminal record. Can I volunteer?

If you have a criminal record which you have declared, we may need to speak to you about this and a decision will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Can I volunteer while receiving benefits?

Many people use volunteering as a way to learn new skills and gain experience to help them find a job. We welcome anyone volunteering to develop their CV. You should always take direct advice from the Benefits Office.

Will I get paid for volunteering?

Volunteer roles are unpaid and do not lead to paid jobs with NIFRS. You are, of course, free to apply for any jobs that come up within NIFRS, but volunteering with us will not give you an advantage over other candidates.

Do you offer training to volunteers?

Yes. Training will be tailored to the volunteering role.

I’m not a British national; can I volunteer in the UK?

There are no restrictions on people volunteering from the European Union (EU). Volunteers from outside the EU (including refugees and asylum seekers) need to have an appropriate visa or confirmation that they are able to work in this country.

 

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