Getting the Right Experience

What Counts as Relevant Experience?

There’s no getting around the fact that applying to join the Fire Service is tough, and very competitive, with hundreds more applicants than positions.

So how can you make sure that your application stands out?

Qualifications are great, but there are many other things the recruitment team will take into consideration – including relevant life and work experience which can help prove that you meet the PQAs and requirements for the role.

But what kind of experience could this include? Some serving firefighters shared their advice and opinions…


“I did a work experience placement in my final year of school with my local FRS – as well as helping to make it clear to me that this was definitely the career I wanted to be in I got experience in working with the equipment and gear and insights into what kind of person you need to be to be a good firefighter.”


“Our FRS holds ‘taster days’ which are a great way to find out more about being a firefighter and what it involves, and it’s easy to see which of the attendees are genuinely passionate about the career – we remember the good ones!”


“Volunteer work with St John’s Ambulance as a first aider at events gave me valuable experience in working with the public and dealing with unexpected and sometimes scary situations, where I had to keep my cool and control the situation as best I could.”


“Even just coming along to a station open day or an event where the fire brigade are doing an event to interact with the public can really help – we’ve had people chatting to us about the job who then decide to apply, and showing that initial bit of interest can go a long way towards making contacts and a good impression!”


“Any kind of groups or organisations that promote team working and problem solving skills are great experience. For young people this could be things like the Duke of Edinburgh Award, or courses ran through an institute like The Prince’s Trust.”


“I was involved in the volunteer service for Mountain Rescue, as hiking and climbing are two of my biggest passions outside of work. The experiences I had during my time with the service as well as the personal skills I developed really helped with the assessment process for the FRS. There are loads of other emergency services that are always looking for volunteers, like the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) or the British Red Cross.”


There are countless opportunities for rewarding and relevant volunteer work, but you could also consider any relevant courses, such as a recognised First Aid qualification.

Sports that involve teamwork can also give you valuable skills in this area – as well as showing a dedication to fitness which is crucial for working in the Fire Service.

It’s a case of being proactive and getting out there to search for opportunities to build on your skills and experience, so you can prove in the application process that you’re someone who goes the extra mile!

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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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