In emergencies call 999

Business owner encourages others to sign up to protect their communities

A business owner is encouraging other people to train up as an on-call firefighter to help protect their local communities in West Yorkshire. Callum White owns a fitness studio near his local fire station in Otley – so has joined up as an on-call firefighter, where he attends emergencies if he’s needed.

On-call firefighters work in areas where there are fewer emergency incidents than others, so firefighters don’t need to be on station all the time. You can be on call as long as you’re in the area; working, at the gym, popping to the shop- or asleep! On-call firefighters get paged if they need to go to the station, from where they jump on a fire engine and off to an emergency incident.

Callum said: “I started my training in the Spring of 2018 – I’d always been interested in the fire service and heard about this through a friend, and it seemed like a great way to get involved. I learnt all the key skills during a training course with the service, and then joined the team at Otley to complete my development. This means I can run my own business and be a firefighter as well – which is the best of both worlds!

“I’m really enjoying it, being self-employed means I’m in charge of my own hours – but I’m generally on call overnight and on weekends anyway so it doesn’t really affect my work/life balance. It’s really exciting being an on-call firefighter – you never know when the next call might come through, and you just snap into action.”

Callum has had a busy time of late, with his fitness studio opening in Menston at the end of 2018 but is enjoying success in all areas of his life. He often discusses his work as an on-call firefighter with his clients- something that goes down well.

He added: “I take a real pride in being an on call firefighter, when my personal training clients find out they’re always really interested – it’s seen as a well-respected job within the local community here. My mum and dad were so proud when they found out and my girlfriend has been so supportive too – she’s a mental health nurse so understands that if I do get called up it’s all about helping people. My friends have been great too – always wanting to hear what jobs I’ve been out on.

“It’s great being able to protect my own community – and being a local business owner myself it feels good knowing it’s well looked after. Anyone thinking about doing it I would say 100% go for it – it doesn’t take up as much time as you might think. You learn tonnes of new skills, some of which transfer into everyday life, especially being a business owner things like health and safety and training. The experience is an eye opener, the people you work with are great – and it’s just all round a brilliant thing to do.”

If you feel inspired by Callum and live or work in Meltham, Featherstone, Holmfirth, Ilkley, Mirfield, Mytholmroyd, Otley, Silsden, Skelmanthorpe or Slaithwaite then visit our website below;

Or read more from Otley fire station on their Facebook page

Or just call into your local station to have a chat with our staff about the roles available!


Location – Live and/or work within one mile of the fire station you wish to work at, or be able to get there within five minutes of receiving an emergency call, travelling at normal road speed. You could also run, walk or cycle if this is easier.

About you – Be 18 or over on commencement of employment, and eligible to work in the UK. Be physically well, including good eyesight with higher than average levels of strength, endurance and aerobic fitness. Hold literacy and numeracy Level 2 qualifications.  Have a full UK driving licence.

Commitments – The minimum commitment is usually 50 hours a week, but still get in touch for a chat with us if you think you can offer less. You will also attend training drills once a week at your local station.