Members of the public crossed picket lines to help man fire pumps across Derbyshire – as firefighters went on strike.
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service recruited 32 paid helpers to cope during the strike – but stressed capability to respond to emergencies was reduced.
A spokeswoman for the service said the reserves had received nine days of intensive training but admitted they would not be able to enter burning buildings and were restricted in their driving of fire engines.
She added: “Without the resources from the army Green Goddesses, we have had to provide some sort of service and this is our response but there will be restrictions.”
Chris Tapp, secretary for the Derbyshire Fire Brigades Union said out of the county’s 300 full time firefighters and 300 retained most were set to go on strike.
He added it was a last resort and would act as a “warning to government”.