Common Recruitment Questions

Becoming a firefighter today raises a lot of questions and some of the answers can be difficult to find. We have listed below the most common questions we get asked on a regular basis and hope these answer most of yours. We are constantly adding to this list, so please check back on a regular basis.

Recruitment into the fire and rescue service is not a national process, therefore each fire and rescue service will hold recruitment campaigns as and when they require firefighters. Each service will launch their own recruitment campaign, some of which will be an online application, or an application via a paper application form which you will be able to download or request from them. We do not hold application forms of any type.
Most fire and rescue services now apply post code restrictions, meaning you will have to provide a postal address within the area to prove you live there, or have lived there for a set amount of time. You will need to check these restrictions with the fire and rescue service that you are hoping to join. They are usually quite clear from the outset if there are restrictions in place.
In line with the requirements of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 you must be eligible to live and work in the United Kingdom to be able to join the UK fire and rescue service.
In accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, if you have a conviction or spent convictions and if the nature of the offence is relevant to the job that are applying for, fire and rescue services will seek to review the individual circumstances of the case and may decide to withdraw your application on this basis.
You have to be 18 years old before you can apply, there is currently no upper age limit
There are no height restrictions, however, you will need to pass a series of role based tests such as removing a ladder from the rear of a fire appliance, which some may find more difficult than others.
There used to be restrictions on height, weight and chest expansion. This is no longer the case, but you will be expected to pass strength and fitness tests as part of the recruitment process. The tests are at a level that is achievable by men and women of all different sizes and builds.
You must be physically fit to become a firefighter and fit enough to pass both the physical tests, fitness tests and the medical examination. We have a dedicated fitness section on our site to assist you in this process. You will also need to maintain your levels of fitness throughout your career and will be required to undertake a fitness test to determine your aerobic capacity which needs to be 42 VO2 Max.
Some fire and rescue services do find it desirable for applicants to have some academic qualifications, although literacy and numeracy tests do form part of the recruitment process in many fire and rescue services. Information will be supplied by the relevant fire and rescue service as and when recruitment campaigns are advertised.
There are various elements to the entry tests and more information can be found within the recruitment section of the website where each element is described in further detail
These questions would be impossible for us to answer. The only real answer would lie with the fire and rescue service for which you are applying and would be based on an individual assessment by the occupational health team within that fire and rescue service.
The fire and rescue service work under the Disability Discrimination Act and therefore will make any reasonable adjustments which will be taken on a case by case basis. We advise that contact is made with the respective fire and rescue service prior to application to avoid any dissapointments.
Most, if not all recruitment campaigns over the past few years have asked that all applicants can drive and have a full UK driving licence. Again this is something that will be detailed within the application criteria of the respective fire and rescue service.
Under Health and Safety, you will not be allowed to wear body piercings whilst being on operational duty. Tattoos are acceptable providing they are in no way offensive. If they are rude, racist, sexist, sectarian or homophobic, they will not be acceptable.
Failure of any stage of the firefighter recruitment process will deem your application as failed and you will have to apply again when recruitment is launched.
Yes, you can still apply. The wearing of glasses and having had laser eye surgery is no longer an issue, however you will need to reach a specified standard. Some fire and rescue service may send you for further tests to ensure your suitability. More information can be found on our eyesight page.

All applicants need an appropriate level of colour perception. Individuals with either normal colour vision or slightly abnormal green colour vision are usually suitable for appointment to the fire and rescue service. The recommended test procedure uses the Ishihara test. We recommend you visit your local optician and let them know you are considering applying to become a firefighter, they will then advise you accordingly.

Yes, you will get paid from your first day of training and salary will increase as you work your way through your training up until you are deemed competent. Full list of the latest pay rates for firefighters can be found here.

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