Interested in applying? Our guide to the Merseyside FRS Firefighter Recruitment Process is here to help!
Step 1 – The Online Application
The application form is accessible from the portal on the Merseyside FRS site. You’ll be asked to register, enter your personal details and answer some basic screening questions, designed to make sure that you understand and meet the basic job requirements.
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The application form generally contains the following sections:
- Personal details
- Education and Training
- Employment History
- FRS Employment History (if you’ve been a Firefighter, or applied previously)
- Support Requirements/Disability Declaration
- References (One must be from your current employer, if you have one)
- Declaration of any offences
- FRS Core Values
- Personal Statement – How you meet the PQAs
It goes without saying but please make sure your contact details are 100% correct – it’s so easy to have a little slip on the keyboard and make an error!
Merseyside FRS ask that you complete the online sections of the application on a PC or laptop.
Step 2 – The Online Tests
If you don’t a have GCSE at grade C or above in Maths and English or Level 2 Functional Skills Maths and English you will be required to take the following online tests:
- Numeracy Skills – Interpreting basic numerical information (e.g. dials, tables, charts) and using arithmetical calculations correctly, including adding up, multiplication, division and subtraction.
- Literacy skills – Communicating in writing by composing sentences such as you would use to write emails and reports.
Step 3 -Physical Tests
There are also various physical tests you’ll have to pass. Fitness is a crucial part of the Firefighter role. These are made up of activities designed to assess your fitness, strength, stamina and coordination, as well as seeing how you cope with tricky situations you might encounter on the job such as heights and enclosed spaces.
The physical tests will include:
- Multi-stage fitness test
- Ladder climb
- Breathing apparatus crawl
- Casualty evacuation
- Ladder lift
- Equipment carry
- Equipment assembly
- Dummy haul
- Chester step test
Step 4 – The Assessment Centre
You’ll be given a time and date to attend a half-day session at the Merseyside FRS assessment centre.
During the session you’ll take part in 2-3 group exercises, designed to test your problem-solving and teamwork skills, as well as seeing how well you match up to the key Firefighter role competencies and values of the FRS.
These exercises could include group discussions, role-plays, presentations and problem-solving tasks. If there’s anything you have to prepare for in advance of the day you’ll be informed in good time!
Step 5 – The Swimming Test
Because Firefighters sometimes have to take part in water rescues it’s essential that you have a good level of swimming ability.
The swimming test includes a minimum of 50 metres swim unaided, so that the recruitment team can ensure that applicants are confident and safe in water. This takes place in Liverpool Marina in cold open water conditions, wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which will be provided for you.
Step 6 – The Interview
If you make it through the physical assessment tests you’ll be invited to the final stage, a competency based interview.
In these types of interview you’ll be asked questions relating toy our behaviour on certain occasions or in specific circumstances, which you’ll then need to provide evidence for by using concrete examples from your past work and life experience.
This is your best chance to convince the panel that you are the candidate that they want to employ.
Again, it’s really important that you prepare adequately for the day – forewarned is forearmed!
Spend a bit of time thinking about what you might be asked, and write down your responses so that they’re fresh in your mind before the interview.
You generally won’t have long to wait before the FRS informs you if you’ve got the job! They will let you know either way, but even if you haven’t made it on this attempt you’ve done amazingly well to get so far.
If you’re successful at the interview day and have been offered the job, there are some final checks that the FRS will need to run
You’ll be asked to attend a medical and fitness assessment with the Occupational Health department.
The medical is a general assessment to check that you’re fit for firefighter duties, and includes looking at your:
- Lung function
- Grip strength
- Blood pressure
The final pre-employment checks will involve checking the information on your application form, contacting your references, and performing a standard criminal record check.