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Articles

The Trouble with Working with Others

What is it? Working with Others is one of the PQAs- the Personal Qualities and Attributes which many FRS base at least part of their assessments for recruitment and promotion on. Even if your FRS doesn’t use PQAs to measure you against, they’ll use something similar and just call it something different. So, much like […]


Would you like to join our team?

Are you already a Firefighter? We are looking for someone to contribute to our team and help us with: Writing articles, real life stories and website content Content/ news for social media updates Contributing ideas and insights from a Firefighter’s perspective Filming short, generic video clips about your role (nothing sensitive or confidential that would […]


What changes have been made to the firefighter recruitment process- and how do they affect me?

For over ten years most Fire & Rescue Services (FRS) have been using the National Firefighter Selection Process (NFS) to recruit new Firefighters. But with changes to budgets, and growing familiarity with the tools used, some FRS are now looking for alternative methods. What does this mean for you? There is still plenty of good […]


Recent Q&A- your questions, our in-depth answers

  Your Question Last month I purchased the Middle Manager PQA application workbook. The workbook guides me through how to respond to ‘tell me about a time’ type questions, using Situation- Role- Result or STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to guide my answers. I have just learnt that the questions on my application form as […]


Is your judgement as good as you think it is?

Operational judgement testing A few years ago I did some work in an FRS where an assessment of candidates’ judgement in operational situations was conducted using a computer based simulation. Basically, a scenario played out on a computer screen involving a developing fire, teams to be deployed and a range of in situ hazards. The […]


5 combined interview and application form tips

Different assessments, similar goal How can we combine tips for two very different types of assessment? The answer is that both assessment types tend to examine the same sort of thing: Who you are What you do How you do it What your behaviour patterns are What your attitudes are When we put it like […]


Technical experience or personal skills- which is best?

If it’s being suggested that Chief Officers in the Fire & Rescue or Police Services could become responsible for both Services together, what does this mean for the importance of technical skills and specific work based experience?   Daily demonstration of skills You demonstrate your technical ability every day as a firefighter and these skills […]


Can psychology make or break your FRS future?

What on earth has psychology got to do with firefighters? It’s a physical, active role right? Surely there isn’t time to be pondering the murky inner world of the unconscious mind?!   The changing Service There may have been a time when this sort of attitude may have had more merit. A time when the […]


Are you as resilient as you think you are?

It’s incredibly difficult to know how you might respond when faced with a life or death situation, or when dealing with the aftermath of a heart-breaking tragedy. Although firefighters are trained to provide a professional response in a huge range of different eventualities there will still be unpredictable, unprecedented or downright harrowing events that will […]


Are you a promotion Avoider?

Picture this: There are rumblings that there could be some promotions coming up… Speculation begins about who might put themselves up for it and what the assessment process will be… You get a few nods and some positive feedback about your chances… You get a few nods and some positive feedback about your chances…You think […]


Why DO people come to us for help?

We’ve been running this site for over eight years now and at the risk of drifting into loud voiced sales-speak, we have helped ‘literally hundreds of people’! So who are they, and why do they come? We were curious, so took a look at our customer list from nearly a decade to find out more… […]


Fire Service Application Form Critique

Whether for promotion or recruitment into the Service most FRS application forms need you to provide evidence of your capabilities. Stating that you have what it takes isn’t enough, you have to PROVE it. Here’s a ‘Working with Others’ answer from a FF hopeful who recently asked for our help. Alex, 22, from Worcester filled […]


2015- will it be the year for you?

January isn’t just a time of sales, diets and grey weather, it’s also a great month for optimism. Are YOU excited about what 2015 holds? What we expect has a bigger bearing on outcomes than we might think. Doesn’t it make sense that we are more likely to make happen the things which we believe […]


Is it time to give up on your dream?

Are you determined enough?   You have to be pretty determined if you want to be a firefighter. Not only is it as tough as hell to get in, once you are in promotions don’t come along every day- far from it. So whether you are trying to start, or trying to progress your Firefighter […]


An interview with an Application Form expert

A while ago our resident Psychologist was interviewed about the application form and what the biggest mistakes were. Here’s an extract of what she had to say:     Question: Is it true that by following certain techniques then you are going to be able to get through the Firefighter Selection process?   Answer: No, […]


When you get an unwelcome result

Some of the negativity around promotions is related to stories we hear of people who went through an assessment and got ‘bad’ feedback. Or even worse, when we feel that this has already happened to us in the past. So what do you do when you get unwanted feedback? And how can we use it […]


Are you a ‘modern’ enough Firefighter? 3 easy ways to find out

We’ve heard many a grumble that Firefighters aren’t what they used to be, and for personnel who have been with the Service a long time it can sometimes seem to be very different organisation from the one they joined. So what are the biggest gripes? And how can you turn these to your advantage?   […]


Why are you being passed over for your Fire Service promotion?

When you feel ready to move up the career ladder it’s frustrating when your organisation doesn’t seem to feel the same. Here are some reasons why, and what you can do about it.     1. You’ve still got a firefighter mentality.   Of course there’s nothing wrong with that- but if it’s time to […]


Are you setting a good example?

There are some funny role models about. People famous for being on TV, people famous for being, well, famous, or even celebrities with fairly dubious credentials can all be seen as role models to some. But what about you- who are you a role model for? If you are a parent then that’s pretty easy- […]


Do firefighters really love their job?

Plenty of people want to join the Fire Service. But what is it like once you are in? We asked around to get some behind the scenes insights, and found some surprising answers!     I love my job because the shifts let me spend time with my family and it is a career for […]


How To Pass The Physical Selection Tests- by Crew Manager James Holder

James has been a firefighter for over 16 years and more recently a Crew Manager having passed the rigorous promotions process. James is a long-standing expert in the field of Fire fighter Fitness, and wrote the bestselling book ‘How to become Firefighter Fit’. ‘Too many people turn up for the physical selection tests to become […]


Firefighters and Formal Qualifications The Myths

To become a firefighter you don’t usually need any formal qualifications. But you can’t afford to be complacent about your academic abilities; you still need to show a general intellectual competence to get ahead both in the initial selection phase and for any future career development. Here are a few areas it will be important: […]


In the Spotlight

Henry S from the Midlands applied to join the FRS in 2010 and was lucky enough to get in. Or was it luck? Here’s what he has to say about his experience.   Were you surprised to get in to the FRS? Yes and no – I’ve been retained for over 10 years, and crew […]


Has this year turned out as you planned?

When it comes to having a top-notch Fire Service career you need to be firmly in the driving seat. It may seem easier to think ‘I’ll see what comes along’ but without clear direction who knows where you might end up? Probably not where you want to be! Given that most people spend more time […]


Assessment Centres- the Facts and the Fiction

To gain promotion there will be a testing phase you will need to pass. It may not even be called an assessment centre (‘AC’ or ‘ADC’) anymore, but rest assured, many of the components will be exactly that. Here we look at the myths and realities of navigating this important career stage.   It will […]


What your first impression is saying about you

To say that trainee or management positions within the Fire Service are sought after is an understatement. We all know how important first impressions are. But how can you use this to your advantage with a firefighter career?   Firefighters have shiny shoes We’ve trained hundreds of firefighters to be interviewers and one thing they […]


The Powerful Tool That You Probably Are Not Using Enough!

Getting your dream job or landing a promotion is unlikely to come easy. Gone are the days of being able to walk into the position you fancy. Particularly with the Fire Service, which is a hugely popular employer, there is a lot of competition. So the first question you need to ask yourself is, do you want it enough?


Why you aren’t GETTING IN or GETTING ON in the Fire Service?

The reasons behind your lack of success and how to overcome it We know that year on year budget cuts and organizational downsizing aren’t much help when it comes to getting on in your career as a firefighter. But despite all that, recruitment is still happening from time to time, and FRS are still surprising […]


Think a job with the Fire service is all about community safety and putting out fires?

Think again… This exclusive interview gives you a unique behind-the-scenes look at specialist roles. Find out how the right decisions can lead to a swift climb through the ranks and the chance to experience a completely different side of being a firefighter…. Carl Haslam, founder of www.fireservice.co.uk and seasoned member of the Fire & Rescue […]


Improve your chances of becoming a Firefighter or nabbing that longed-for promotion

Here are the 3 actions you need to start taking right away…..   1. Start your preparation NOW   This might sound a bit obvious- but given that it’s the biggest mistake most of you will make, it’s worth repeating. The vast majority of candidates don’t start to properly think about their assessment until the […]


Why it’s time to take matters into your own hands

We are all used to the doom and gloom in the media about the lack of decent jobs, rising costs, stagnating wages. It’s easy to get sucked into feeling pretty hopeless about the whole sorry mess (which after all feels very much of someone else’s making). What the newspapers fail to mention is that, as […]


What to do when it doesn’t work out

This month I wanted to share an email I sent to someone who had put a lot of work into becoming a firefighter but just missed out. I know many of you will be able to relate to the frustration and disappointment this person was feeling when he got in touch with us. You might […]


How do I present myself in the best light?

Most of us will be familiar with gearing up for an occasion where we know we have to do our very best. But how do we make sense of the conflicting advice of ‘just be yourself’ when we know that we need to do more for any sort of selection situation? Whether you will be […]


Making your experience count

I remember when I was at school and having to complete my university application I kept coming up against the same challenge; what can I include in the ‘extra experience’ box? I hadn’t done a Duke of Edinburgh award; I hadn’t stuck at any musical instrument long enough to claim proficiency; my acting career had […]


The secret to becoming a great firefighter

Getting in Imagine a room full of individuals mad keen to get into the Fire Service. Picture what they may look like. In some respects it’s easy to imagine isn’t it? There is usually one key thing which they will have in common which you may not see in people applying for many other jobs. […]


What exactly is the FRS looking for?

Whether you are facing your first assessment or have failed one in the past, one of your top questions is likely to be, ‘what are they looking for?’ With the FRS you are luckier than you might think; you do have plenty of guidance about what you need to achieve- the assessments shouldn’t be a […]


Back to basics- Your Application Form

Filling in your application form is probably the most important part of the recruitment process, as this is the first time the Fire and Rescue Service receives any information about who you are. But did you know that 90% of applicants fail at the first hurdle?


‘Am I what they are looking for?’

Whether you are facing an assessment or have failed to get through one, one of your top questions is likely to be, ‘am I what are they looking for?’


Priority Pass

AT SOME point in their career, most employees in the fire and rescue service will consider trying for a promotion. There are many factors involved in this decision, not the least of which is ‘am I ready for the assessment process?’


Unexpected ADC Exercises

There can be confusion sometimes about what you can expect in your ADC. Will there be an in-basket or an analysis exercise? Will the role-play be internal or external? Will there be a presentation or a briefing? Will I need to answer questions or write a report?