Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions.

We recieve many emails asking us about various aspects of the recruitment process. The answers can usually be found, simply by browsing the site for the information. However, we have listed the most frequently asked questions below which should either answer, or at least point you in the right direction for the information you require. If you have exhausted the site and the list below, our forum may be a good way to get the information required.

  1. How do I apply, or get an application form sent to me?
  2. What are the upper and lower age limits for joining as a firefighter?
  3. When does the Fire and Rescue Service recruit for firefighters?
  4. How tall do you need to be to become a firefighter?
  5. How fit do you have to be to become a firefighter?
  6. Do brigades accept applications from females?
  7. What are the eyesight requirements to join the fire service?
  8. How often does recruitment take place?
  9. Will being Colour Blind prevent me from becoming a firefighter?
  10. What qualifications do I need to become a firefighter?
  11. What vacancies are there in the UK now?
  12. What medical grounds could I fail on?
  13. What are the entry tests to join the fire service?
  14. I have a criminal record. Can I still apply and join as a firefighter?
  15. What other jobs are available within the Fire Service?
  16. What can I do to better my chances of getting in the Fire and Rescue Service?
  17. Will it be quicker and easier to join because I’ve been in the forces?
  18. How long does the recruitment process take?
  19. I have recently had laser eye treatment. Can I still apply?
  20. Where can I get a copy of the shuttle run bleep test from?
  21. Can I do work experience at my local fire station?
  22. Can I join as an Officer because I have a degree or other qualification?
  23. I have a medical condition which I think may exclude me. How do I find out?
  24. What is, and how do I join as a retained firefighter or a part time firefighter?
  25. I leave the Forces in a few months, how do I apply to join the service now?
  26. Can I join the UK Fire Service, even though I am an Overseas National?
  27. I have a disability, can I still become a firefighter?
  28. How do I apply to join as an Airport Firefighter?
  29. Can I go through the selection process whilst still serving notice in the Armed Forces?

1. How do I apply, or get an application form sent to me?

Application forms are only issued when a Fire and Rescue Service run a recruitment campaign. In order to recieve one, you will need to keep track of when your chosen Fire and Rescue Service are running a campaign, and then apply to recieve one. We regret that we are unable to send out any application forms ourselves or keep your name on file.

 

2. What are the upper and lower age limits for joining as a firefighter?

The minimum age before you can join the fire service is 18 years old. Applicants can apply at 17 yrs 10 months. If you are under this age you still may be able to get help by joining a Young Firefighters Scheme. You will need to contact the brigade closest to you, to see if this is something they offer. There is no longer an upper age limit and its not unusual to see new firefighters in their 40s.

 

3. When does the Fire and Rescue Service recruit for firefighters?

The Fire and Rescue Service recruit at different times of the year. Sometimes it can be several years before a campaign is launched. There is no hard and fast rule on when they will recruit, it depends on the funds available to recruit new firefighters, and also on how many firefighters are expected to retire or leave the service.

 

4. How tall do you need to be to become a firefighter?

There is no minimum or maximum height within the fire and rescue service. However, you will need to undertake a series of tests which will involve removing a ladder from a fire appliance. This task will need to be achieved in order to move on to the next stage of the recruitment process.

 

5. How fit do you have to be to become a firefighter?

Fitness is an important part of being a firefighter. To help with your fitness we have a dedicated fitness section on the site which will help you achieve the required level.

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6. Do Fire and Rescue Services accept applications from females?

The fire and rescue service continues its drive towards greater equality and diversity among its people to reflect the communities they serve. Therefore applications will be accepted from anyone regardless of their sex, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, religion or creed, political beliefs, trade union activity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, disability, age or any other factor which cannot be justified.

 

7. What are the eyesight requirements to join the fire service?

Firefighters require good vision in both eyes. To find out more about the current eyesight requirements we have set up this page to help answer your queries.

 

8. How often does recruitment take place?

Fire and Rescue Services will only recruit when they need firefighters to replace those retiring or leaving the service. There is no particular time in the year that recruitment takes place. Please ensure you keep visiting the site for up to date recruitment campaigns.

 

9. Will being Colour Blind prevent me from becoming a firefighter?

Firefighters require good vision in both eyes. To find out more about the current eyesight requirements we have set up this page to help answer your queries.

 

10. What qualifications do I need to become a firefighter?

No formal qualifications are required to become a firefighter. However, you will need to pass a series of written and apptitude tests to proceed with any application. Any qualifications you bring into the service may help with future promotion.

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11. What vacancies are there in the UK now?

Vacancies can be found by subscribing to the text service found on the following page.

 

12. What medical grounds could I fail on?

There are far too many medical conditions that will exclude you from joining as a firefighter. We suggest that if you have any condition you are unsure about, the easiest way to get confirmation that it will exclude you is to ring the fire and rescue service you wish to join. Ask to speak to the Occupational Health section.

 

13. What are the entry tests to join the fire service?

Fire and Rescue Services now use the National Firefighter Tests to recruit applicants. There are sample questions and information about these within the recruitment section of the site.

 

14. I have a criminal record. Can I still apply and join as a firefighter?

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from becoming a firefighter. If you have a criminal record, you will have to declare this in the application stages. You will be subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 which you will need to read, as each offence will be different.

Before an offer of employment is made a disclosure document from the Criminal Records Bureau may be obtained. If, at this stage, a conviction is highlighted that you have not declared, your application will be withdrawn from the recruitment process.

 

15. What other jobs are available within the Fire Service?

There are many careers within the fire and rescue service. However, the site is dedicated to the role of a firefighter. All other vacancies will be advertised in local papers as well as the web site of the fire and rescue service advertising the vacancy.

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16. What can I do to better my chances of getting in the Fire and Rescue Service?

To improve your chances of becoming a firefighter, you need to stay fit, out of trouble and gain as much information as you can about the role of a firefighter. All this can be achieved by visiting this site on a regular basis. We also have a discussion forum which will also improve your knowledge of the service.

 

17. Will it be quicker and easier to join because I’ve been in the forces?

Everyone has an equal chance of applying to the fire and rescue service, and there are no quick ways in, even if you’re leaving the forces. The fact you have been in the forces will help, regarding discipline and the physical side of the job. However being in the fire service is different than being in the forces in more ways than one.

Members of the forces will have to start by filling out an application form and completing the tests with everyone else. There is no process for ex forces to transfer straight across, just as there is no process for firefighters to transfer to the forces without going through recruitment.

 

18. How long does the recruitment process take?

The recruitment process can take many months, in some cases it can take a year from application to actually starting. It has also been known to be done within a matter of weeks. When a recruitment campaign is launched, it is usual to give a timescale of how the process will work.

 

19. I have recently had laser eye treatment. Can I still apply?

Firefighters require good vision in both eyes. To find out more about the current eyesight requirements we have set up this page to help answer your queries.

 

20. Where can I get a copy of the shuttle run/bleep test?

Our fitness section gives details of all fitness products available to help with achieving the required fitness level.

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21. Can I do work experience at my local fire station?

Due to Health and Safety issues, it may not be possible to carry out work experience as a firefighter. You will certainly not be allowed to travel in a fire appliance or attend incidents. It may be possible to be placed on a fire station in an observer capacity. However, you will need to write to the fire and rescue service direct to see if this is something they offer.

 

22. Can I join as an Officer because I have a degree or other qualification?

It is unlikley you could join as an operational officer as you will have had no operational experience. However, there does seem to be an increasing desire for non operational posts to be advertised outside of the service. The site does not hold a list of current vacancies and it is suggested you contact the fire and rescue service direct.

 

23. I have a medical condition which I think may exclude me. How do I find out?

There are far too many medical conditions that will exclude you from joining as a firefighter. We suggest that if you have any condition you are unsure about, the easiest way to get confirmation that it will exclude you is to ring the fire and rescue service you wish to join. Ask to speak to the Occupational Health section.

 

24. How do I join as a retained firefighter or a part time firefighter?

Vacancies for firefighters who wish to work the retained duty system (RDS) are usually advertised locally and at the stations that require them. You will be required to respond to a pager within 5 mins, so you need to work or live close to the station. More information can be found on our page about the retained service

 

25. I leave the Forces in a few months, how do I apply to join the service now?

You can only apply when you are in a position to attend the test days which will be sent to you. Many fire and rescue services now require applicants to collect application forms in person, something which would be impossible if you are currently working abroad.

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26. Can I join the UK Fire Service, even though I am an Overseas National?

Any non UK National would require a work permit to work in the UK but would not be eligible for employment as a firefighter. A prospective employer is responsible for applying for a work permit and the conditions for the issue of a work permit state that one would only be granted / issued where there are insufficiently skilled individuals within the workforce.

 

27. I have a disability, can I still become a firefighter?

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 has now been amended and firefighters are no longer exempt from the Act. This means that anyone who considers themselves to have a disability can apply to join the fire service.

A disability is defined by the Act as: Anyone who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

You will be asked if you have a disability as part of the recruitment process and to give details of the type of adjustments you may require in order to take part in the selection process and to fulfill the role of a firefighter, should you be successful. Each case will be considered on an individual basis and if reasonable adjustments can be made to enable you to take part in the selection process and to fulfill the role of a firefighter then your application will proceed.

 

28. How do I apply to join as an Airport Firefighter?

Airport firefighters are recruited in a totally different way to that of Authority firefighters. Anyone seeking employment within the Airport Fire Service will need to keep an eye on Airport web sites in the hope that job opportunities come up.

 

29. Can I go through the selection process whilst still serving notice in the Armed Forces?

You are more than welcome to submit an application to join the Fire and Rescue Service, but you must be available to undertake any tests that will be required of you. The tests can be held on seperate days so some may find it difficult if posted overseas.

If offered a contract of employment, you must be able to start your training course on the required day. Failure to do so will end your employment and your place will be given to someone who can, the Fire and Rescue Service will not wait. In this case, many may find it is best to wait until you have left the forces before making an application.

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