Leaving the emergency services, whilst exciting can also be very hard. The emergency services require a higher level of team building and personal ties than many other organisations. Language is unique and outlooks and values are often shared.

Leaving the emergency services can break these ties either partially or completely. Although there are many ways (e.g. reunions, associations, social events and family links) by which some service leavers seek to maintain these ties over time, it is likely that for many they will weaken. This loss of personal ties and teamwork is often difficult to cope with and can hold back or even stop successful transition into life outside of the emergency services.

ESCT’s guide on ‘Staying Connected’ offers a way to maintain these bonds, build new networks, maintain professional credibility and currency for a new career and allows people to give something back.

The following our options which you may wish to consider:


Volunteering for an emergency service

The idea of volunteering seems a very alien concept to many paid staff members but experience and research shows that volunteering, whether for your emergency service or for wider organisations can open many new doors, make you more attractive to would be employers and always provides a safe topic of conversation when networking. There a various ways that you can volunteer:

Special Constable: Many forces are keen to retain experienced officers as specials in niche roles, such as cyber, marine, traffic, neighbourhood or crime investigation

Police support volunteer: Most forces have an active non-warranted volunteer scheme, covering areas such as speedwatch, front counter work and neighbourhood team support. For more information look at Police.uk – Volunteering

Police Cadet Adult Volunteer
The Volunteer Police Cadets scheme provides a safe environment where young people can learn as individuals, develop positive relationships with the police and actively support the community.  The scheme is run by teams of volunteers from the force and the local community. To be a Cadet Leader you need to be over 18 and able to commit to one evening a week, with some additional hours when required: Police.uk – Volunteering Police Cadets



Retained Fire Fighter: Retained Fire Fighters are an essential part of the Fire Service. There are approximately 18,000 retained firefighters in the UK.  This is not strictly a volunteer role, as it is paid, but nevertheless allows you to stay connected. For more information see: Fireservice – Retained Firefighters

Fire Cadets
The Fire Cadets is a nationally recognised programme which offers young people aged 13 to 17 the opportunity to gain essential social, life, work and wellbeing skills, the opportunity to gain a BTEC Level 2 qualification and develop their confidence and personal skills. The Fire service needs volunteers to help deliver the Fire Cadet units. North Wales Fire and Rescue Service



There are a many voluntary organisations which assist the UK ambulance service and wider.  We have listed the just some of the key links below:

St John Ambulance

British Red Cross

NHS England

South East Coast Ambulance Service

South Central Ambulance Service

North West Ambulance Service

London Ambulance Service

West Midlands Ambulance Service

Scottish Ambulance Service

NHS Wales


Other ways of working for emergency services and associated organisations

Bank work
Many emergency services are keen to retain skills on casual worker or zero hours contract.  Check out your nearby emergency services to see what they are offering and check different rates.  Remember going via an agency can have advantages and disadvantages: greater likelihood of work but your rates may be lower, so do your homework first.

Use your skills in a new role
Many employers are looking for emergency service skills, and many have a community of emergency service veterans. ESCT are developing an emergency service award scheme for employers who support people who provide voluntary support to emergency services or who are part of the emergency service community, including emergency service leavers. Check our ESCT awards scheme page.

Consultancy for connected organisations
Providing consultancy services for organisations who provide services to the emergency services is a great way stay connected. Check out our page on starting up businesses.


Volunteering for Emergency Services Career Transition

Mentoring: when leaving the emergency services, it is always good to have other people who have been there and made the transition to talk to.  We are building a bank of mentors for you to go to.  Watch out for our mentoring link coming soon to see how you can access mentors or become a mentor supporting the ESCT programme.


We at ESCT need people to promote our work, to engage with staff, to link with companies and to give us new ideas.  To become an ESCT ambassador please contact us by email from our web site.


We have put together a series of free resources and signposting which we hope will be of benefit to you. All links found within these resources direct you to organisations or companies that have gone through a scrutiny process by our Advisory Panel and we at ESCT feel provide unbiased and sound advice and guidance.



Finding the right job for you or defining and achieving the best next steps after life in the emergency services is best approached in a structured way...

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Leaving the emergency services, whilst exciting can also be very hard. The emergency services require a higher level of team building and personal ties than many other organisations...

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ESCT aim to support the Emergency Services by signposting members of the public to vacancies within each of the services...

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