Were you dreaming of a career in the Fire Service and hoping to apply for a Firefighter Job before the Covid-19 pandemic put things on hold?
While some FRSs have put temporary delays on opening their recruitment campaigns hiring of new Firefighters WILL be ongoing – the emergency services need new recruits now more than ever.
Applying can be trickier than it seems.
Fire and Rescue Services in general open recruitment without a lot of notice – and may stop taking applications early if a certain volume are received!
Don’t worry though, we’re here to show you how to be ready to apply for a Firefighter position as soon as recruitment opens again for your FRS!
We’re here to show you how to use your time whilst self-isolating to be ready to apply for a position as soon as recruitment opens for the airline of your dreams!
Please remember though, take the time to make sure you settle into your new temporary period of isolation and don’t pressure yourself into rushing into things too fast – there have been huge changes for us all over the past few weeks and you will understandably need time to adapt!
A few things to consider before you apply for a Firefighter Position
Make sure you meet the requirements – both in general and for the specific FRS you want to apply to!
At the most basic the firefighter requirements in the UK are:
- You must be over the age of 18
- You must have the right to live in the UK
- You must be eligible to work in the UK
Certain FRSs have stricter requirements however. The most common of these are:
- You’ll need to reside in the same postcode as the FRS you’re applying to (and show proof of address)
- You will need to hold a full UK diving licence, although some FRSs will consider your application if you’re in the process of getting one
- You’ll need to be confident in water, and able to swim 100 metres unaided
- You must not have any known phobias of heights or enclosed spaces
Although at the moment booking those driving lessons, or doing a course of swimming lessons (if this is where you’re failing to meet the requirements) might be impossible, you can certainly use your time to research your options in doing this!
Your physical fitness will also be tested, and it will need to be of a good standard to pass the firefighter physical and medical tests.
This is something that can be worked on at home, with incredible results if you’re determined enough. A mixture of cardio and strength training is a good place to start.
You don’t even need any specialist equipment – there are some fantastic home workouts with little to none extra accessories needed,
Help! Do I have the right qualifications to apply for a Firefighter position?!
Not all FRSs ask for formal, or ‘paper’ qualifications – however most will state that they expect you to have the ability to pass the verbal and numerical psychometric ability tests – the level of education they expect is GCSE Maths and English or equivalent.
However, if you’re concerned then why not look online at distance learning or eLearning options, to bring your qualifications up to speed!
As we’ve mentioned though, this does vary from FRS to FRS and they will specify any qualifications needed in their individual requirements.
Practical Things to Do!
Here are our top tips for making sure you’re prepared:
- Have all of your documents together ready and prepared, and know where they are! This includes things like your ID, passport, right to work paperwork if relevant, and any educational certificates.
- It’s a good idea to write out all of your details and a draft of a personal statement before you apply. Some FRSs even have time limits on their online applications – so this could be a lifesaver! You could do this by making up or updating a CV and cover letter (although the fire service use application forms, this is a handy and easy to read format for you to refer to).
- Sort out the details for your referees – and CHECK with them that they’re happy to provide references!
- Clean up your social media! It’s becoming more and more common for employers to ‘screen’ promising candidates online, so get into the habit of making sure that there’s nothing posted online that could go against your application.
- Get a head start with knowing the role requirements inside out, practicing answers to the ability and personality tests, and knowing what to expect at the assessment day and interview! It’s never too early to prepare.
- Research the role, and know it inside out so you can prove when it comes to applying how passionate you are about the career!
- Check out the website of your local station or FRS too, to keep informed in what’s happening in your area.
- Look into some volunteer work to gain experience of emergency situations – there are plenty of things you can do to help from the safety of your own home, as long as you have access to a phone and an internet connection.
Doing something positive and taking real, measurable steps towards your dream career can also be great for your mental wellbeing, giving you a renewed sense of purpose and confidence!