Bundoran Fire & Rescue Service - Ireland


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What is a Retained Firefighter?

Firefighter fighting a serious fireA Retained Firefighter is just an ordinary person who has decided to give their life to serving their town and community. The commitment and dedication that they give is sometimes un-noticed by many. The Retained Firefighter makes up about 70% of the Fire Service in Ireland, with Full-time Firefighters in major Towns and Cities. The difference between Full-time and Retained is that the Full-time Firefighters work approx 40 hours or work a set shift each week and then they are off. Most Retained Firefighters are "on-call" 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, which means tFirestorm Pager worn by every Firefighter in Donegal County Fire Servicehey are never really "off call". When the pager bleeps, they have to leave their jobs and make their way to the Fire Station and in most cases the Fire Appliance can be on the road to the incident in 5 minutes! The work of a Retained Firefighter is so different to most jobs as one minute you are doing your normal day job, the Pager bleeps and within a few minutes you find yourself in an emergency situation rescuing someone from a fire or releasing trapped casualties from their cars. It can be a very demanding job at times, as you see some very stressful sights in fatal fires and Road Traffic Collisions (RTC's), but it goes with the job. 

On the other hand, the comradeship and friendship within the Fire Service, locally and globally is totally unique, and this makes it one big family and makes the role of a Firefighter easier. Everyone works as a team and and when you enter a burning building, its the teamwork and friendship that sees you through.


Firstly the person answers an advertisement in the local papers for the post of Firefighter which is open to males and females, and eventually he/she will be called to take part in a special aptitude test which entails physical and theoretical tests to make sure they are fit and suitable to be a Firefighter. Then the applicant will be called for an interview and a panel will be made up of successful applicants. The first person on the panel will then be sent for an intense medical with the Fire Service Medical Team. If and when the person successfully passes the medical, they will then be offered the job as Retained Firefighter. Before he/she can take up the post of Firefighter, they will have to complete and pass an intense 2 week Induction Course and learn the skills of using all the equipment on the Fire Appliance.

Hot Fire Training

After successfully completing this, he/she will be placed "on call" with the local Fire Crew within a few weeks, with one restriction, that they cannot enter a burning building until they have again successfully completed and passed a very stressful 2 week Breathing Apparatus Wearers course, which includes " Firefighter TrainingHot Fire Training" which deals with "Backdraft" and "Flashover" situations. This has to be completed within their probation year. This course is probably one of the most physical, stressful and demanding courses that the Firefighter will be asked to do. It tests their physical and mental skills in a hot smoke filled burning building. Every Firefighter on the Brigade has to complete this course and attend refresher courses every 2 years.

The Firefighter's Prayer

"When I am called to duty, God - wherever flames may rage:

Give me strength to save a life, Whatever be its age.

Help me embrace a little child - Before it is too late;

Or save an older person from The horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert, And hear the weakest shout;

And quickly and efficiently - To put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling, To give the best in me;

To guard my friend and neighbour, And protect his property.

And if according to Your will - I must answer death's call;

 Bless with your protecting hand, My family one and all."

Author Unknown

The Fireman's Wife's Prayer

The table's set, the meal's prepared, our guests will soon arrive.
My husband once more disappears with a hope of keeping a child alive.
While waiting at home alone, our plans having gone awry
My first impulse is merely to sit right down and cry.
But soon again I realize the importance of my life
When I agreed to take on the duties of being a fireman's wife.
While there are many drawbacks, I'll take them in my stride,
Knowing "My Daddy saved a life" our children can say with pride.
The gusting winds and raging flames may be his final fate.
But with God's help I can remain my fireman's faithful mate.


Author Unknown

My Daddy's a Fireman

We're seldom named in poems though we do have charm and poise,
Firemen never seem to have girls; it's always boys, boys, boys!
Well, my Daddy's a fireman, and I'm proud as I can be,
While my name isn't Tommy or Billy, he loves me 'cause I'm me.
He needs both me and Mommy to remind him of things to do,
Like going to Church on Sunday and emptying the garbage, too.
One day he took me with him to his firehouse downtown
,I sat in the big red engine and pushed the siren down.
At times, I like to fool him; make him believe I'm asleep at night,
He'd whisper "Nite-nite, little darlin', don't let the bed bugs bite!"
Please don't tell anybody, I once saw my Daddy cry,
He fought a real bad fire and told Mommy he saw someone die.
Why he fights these fires, I guess I'm too young to know,
He's always helping people...and, that's why I love him so.
The reason I wrote this poem is to explain the best I can,
Girls, just like boys, can say with pride...


Author Unknown

Last updated Wednesday November 30, 2016  This is not an official Donegal County Fire Authority site and is compiled and owned by

 Bundoran Fire Brigade    www.bundoranfirebrigade.com     Paul Kelly            Best viewed with Internet Explorer 7 1024x768