We get asked a lot about Firefighters and Driving Licences, and whether you need a licence to apply. The answer is dependent on the FRS being applied to. At this time it’s generally a yes – you need to have a full UK driving licence or be in the process of applying for one at the time of application.
Could This Be About to Change?
Avon FRS recently updated their policy in an effort to attract a more diverse range of applicants to the Firefighter role. Wholetime applicants can now apply even though they don’t have a driving licence.
However, candidates successful in the recruitment process will be expected to obtain a driving licence during their two-year probation period.
London Fire Brigade and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service also don’t require applicants to have a driving licence on application – although again, candidates must be willing to attain a licence within a specified period.
Why Do You Need a Licence?
In short, because as part of your role you’ll need to drive vehicles used for transportation and for putting out fires – and yes, that includes fire engines!
You don’t need to worry about having the specific type of licence permitting you to drive larger vehicles on application – the Fire Service you work with will help you attain this. However, in the modern Fire Service there are other vehicles used too, including ‘normal’ cars and vans with Fire Service livery, and off-road vehicles such as Land Rovers or pick-up trucks.
There are also many different types of larger vehicles used. These range from flatbed lorries with aerial ladder platforms, to high-volume pumping units with large-capacity water tanks, to the large ‘typical’ fire engines most often associated with the Fire Service.
What This Means for Applicants
Because FRS’ often recruit at short notice, many applicants who didn’t have a licence at the time have been unable to apply. However, Services are recognising that this could potentially be causing them to miss out on a lot of talented applicants who would be perfect for the role.
Could there be changes afoot for Firefighters and driving licences, with other FRS’ beginning to remove the need for applicants to have a full licence? It makes sense that they might – watch this space!