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 workforce was anything but diverse, the community was something to be safeguarded but not involved and overall the Service took a much more reactive than proactive role.
But things have changed. Firefighters aren’t as traditionally operational as they were because Community fire safety initiatives have taken huge steps to reduce risk and harm. But in turn, firefighters have had to become more prepared for a wider range of threats and hazards. The service has had to become streamlined, efficient, adaptable. Firefighters have had to up their game. They aren’t just professionals who fight fires anymore- they are so much more- and that’s where the psychological factors come in.
Testing how you think and behave
How successful you will be in joining the Service or as your firefighter career progresses will depend on how you think and behave- psychological factors. It is these factors that are tested before you can move forward, which will affect what you do and how you do it, and ultimately, how well you will fit in with the ethos and objectives of the FRS.
To be successful, you have to THINK about your approach. How will your actions support and progress the aims of the Service? How will your attitudes reflect on the Service? How do your values influence your choices, and do these choices tie in with what the Service wants from you? Where are there conflicts between what you believe and what the Service stands for? Can your attitudes be shifted to be more aligned with organisational values? Can you adapt?
Skills and Behaviours Assessment
It isn’t always easy to objectively explore these for yourself. We don’t often have cause to pause and reflect on who we are and how we do things. But for a successful FRS career it is essential.
A useful way of getting insights into the sorts of choices you make, your attitudes, your values and how well these match what the FRS is looking for is to take one of our online tests; an in-depth practical written paper or a quicker situational judgement test (the links are below). After you complete these tests you receive feedback on where your behaviour matches what is required, and where there are discrepancies. You’ll also receive guidance on how to address these if you complete the Practical Written Exercise and receive the 12 page behavioural feedback report.
Creating a good fit
A successful FRS career is at your fingertips if you chose to do the work required to become a good fit. You just need to be willing to look at your personal style and develop this in order to become what the FRS, your team and your community needs you to be.
Once you have figured out that first piece of the puzzle, the rest will fall into place.