Fire Service Taster Days – a fantastic opportunity to find out if being a firefighter is right for you!
Been thinking about becoming a firefighter for a while? Maybe you haven’t managed to take the leap yet! Attending a Fire Service Taster Day is a great way of helping you make an informed decision before applying.
Fire Service Taster Days are becoming increasingly popular. More and more Fire and Rescue Services have been offering these type of ‘have-a-go day’ sessions.
While some require advance registration or expression of interest, others are more informal with an open day approach.
Either way, their purpose is to raise awareness and encourage members of the community to see if they’ve got what it takes to join the Fire and Rescue Service.
Each FRS tends to have a similar format for their Taster Days. The aim is to provide a casual, friendly setting in which interested members of the public can try out different aspects of the job.
Usually, there will be current wholetime or on-call firefighters who will be available for informal chats about their day-to-day responsibilities and the realities of the profession. For taster days with pre-registered attendance there will often be a designated question and answer session with crew, recruitment teams and HR staff.
Have a go!
Arguably the most fun part of the taster sessions is the opportunity to get involved with the physical activities. While the specifics may vary, the aim is to give potential applicants access to the same fitness tests they would have to undergo during the recruitment process. These could include ladder climb, casualty evacuation and equipment carrying, among others.
Certain FRS also provide breathing apparatus demonstrations and firefighting simulation exercises.
Be sure to check the website beforehand as sometimes you’ll be required to provide your measurements. This is to ensure they have the ‘Personalised Protective Equipment’ ready and waiting for you.
The Fire Service Taster Days really are an excellent chance to put your fitness skills to the test and to see how you measure up. Some Taster Days have physical trainers on hand to give advice on how to improve your strength or technique.
Who is a Fire Service Taster Day aimed at?
Most Taster Days are open to anyone interested in a firefighting career.
However, the primary aim is to raise awareness among currently under-represented groups within the fire service, namely women and those from ethnic minority or LGBT backgrounds.
Many Taster Days are geared specifically towards attracting female firefighters, and some events are reserved solely for women.
The purpose of female-only awareness sessions is to dispel some of the misconceptions women may have about perceived limitations, and to help people realise their ambition to begin a firefighting career,
In fact, FRS are especially keen to recruit a wide range of people in order to improve communication within diverse communities.
A major part of a firefighter’s job is to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds. Equality, diversity and inclusion are key aspects of recruitment therefore it’s vital to attract applicants from all walks of life.
Nonetheless, everyone over the age of 17 years and 5 months is eligible to apply, and it should be emphasised that the female-only Taster Days are not a means of fast-tracking women through the recruitment process. Roles will still be awarded on merit and ability rather than gender or race.
What are the benefits of attending a Taster Day?
Attending a Taster Day is a fantastic learning opportunity, as well as providing a unique experience to showcase what a firefighting career is all about.
Preparation is essential before the application stage. A Taster Day not only gives you an insight into whether your fitness is up to scratch, but it also allows you to chat to current firefighters who can share tips and information about the profession.
Many Taster Days also provide explanations of the online ability and behavioural tests you will be required to complete during application. Sample questionnaires may even be released to take home. This sort of practice is invaluable when you consider that 70% of candidates fail at this stage of application.
Importantly, attending a Taster Day can make you stand out from the crowd. Not only this, but certain FRS actually stipulate that you cannot apply if you haven’t attended a Taster Day. As of writing, Greater Manchester FRS has this in their eligibility requirements.
Regardless of whether it’s a prerequisite to applying, it’s worthwhile attending a Fire Service Taster Day anyway, simply for the knowledge and experience you will take away from the session.
If you are interested in attending a Fire Service Taster Day, ensure you regularly check the website for your local FRS to see if they have any upcoming events. We also post information on the FRS Development Facebook page.
It’s also worth signing up to our text alert service which will keep you up-to-date with the latest FRS recruitment drives.