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 themselves with the need to select for management positions when they had least expected to.

These opportunities may be a little harder to come by than previously, but they are still there. So why are others making the most of these and you aren’t?

Here we touch on some of the key reasons why you may be missing out and what you can do to turn your fortunes around.


Reason for missing out What to do about it
You want to be a firefighter but you haven’t made yourself ‘selection-ready’ It can seem like a waste of time to put much effort in when you’re not sure when your FRS will next recruit. But there are people out there who have already completed their application, had it professionally reviewed, know its 100% ready to send off and have even made a start on getting ready for the rest of the selection process so they know they can hit ground running when recruitment does happen. This is the sort of commitment which will get you results.
You aren’t staying up to date It isn’t always easy to prioritise checking all the different FRS websites in your area to see if they are recruiting yet. When you’ve been doing this for a few months it can be easy to let slip. That’s why we developed the text alert service. There is no reason for you to miss out on who is recruiting and when if you join this service and get alerts straight to your mobile.
You have applied before but didn’t get in but aren’t planning to change your strategy If you keep doing the same things it stands to reason you will keep getting the same results! It’s time to up your game if you want your life to look different 12 months from now. Drop us an email if you aren’t sure how to get started and we’ll point you in the right direction.
You haven’t considered the alternatives We spoke to one FRS last week that hasn’t recruited for whole-time firefighters for 8 years (this isn’t particularly the norm!) but do regularly recruit for part-time (retained) staff. Think about the wider options- what do you want to get involved in? Are there other ways you can gain that experience? Whether volunteering to another emergency or rescue type organisation or getting involved with other volunteer activities you’ll be building good, relevant experience.



Reason for missing out What to do about it
You’ve got into the habit of keeping a low profile You need to make it clear you are ready for the next challenge. Mention it to your line manager and make sure you are first to volunteer for new projects/ initiatives. This will show you are ready to step up.
Not staying up to date with promotion or project based opportunities It’s crazy how quickly the tide can turn, and no one seems really able to predict what promotions, temporary or otherwise, will be required in the next few months. Even if you are being told a firm ‘no’, you might hear a different story next week! Find out the best way of keeping in the loop and stay in it!
Your focus of learning is a bit narrow Being promotion-ready is about so much more than knowing your routines, legislation and fire skills inside out. You need to be thinking in terms of advanced management skills and how to apply them. Find environments which facilitate this sort of learning, push for mentoring as part of your development plan and come along to one of our promotion Bootcamps for group learning and coaching (If you are interested in attending one of our promotion bootcamps then drop us an email).
You’re letting others hold you back There is nothing wrong with being ambitious but other people might make you feel like there is. We are mostly influenced by the people we spend the most time with. Take a look around, are the people you talk to encouraging you or holding you back? Spending time with groups of people who want the same things as you can be very empowering, and can inspire you to keep striving to reach your potential.
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FRS Team

Our team of experts have the many years of Fire Service experience and are up to date with the latest selection news.

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