If you’re reading this article, then chances are you’re already researching the role and giving yourself the best chance you can to successfully turn that dream into a reality.
One of the most commonly asked questions we receive from school leavers is
“What can I do to improve my chances of getting into the Fire and Rescue Service?”
It’s first worth remembering that a role in the Fire and Rescue Service is unique, and at times extremely challenging.
This is true of all roles within the FRS and not just that of a firefighter so be sure to look at all your options and research what it is exactly you wish to do within the organisation.
The one commonality all roles have is that they are all extremely rewarding.
Remember too that due to the physical nature of the role of a firefighter your fitness levels need to be above average and your health needs to be on top form. Unfortunately, many medical conditions (even historical ones) preclude people from being able to join the FRS as a firefighter so ensure you do your research.
Yeah, yeah, yeah you’ve not put me off, I WANT TO JOIN!
Well, in practical terms there are plenty of opportunities to emerge yourself in the work of the FRS prior to applying for a firefighter role. Most FRS’s provide an opportunity to volunteer.
Volunteering comes in many forms;
- Community Fire Safety Volunteering
Some FRS’s utilise volunteers in a Community Fire Safety role, this may include things like attending events and engaging with the public, or delivering messages regarding fire safety in the home.
Or perhaps you could find yourself getting out and around in the local area looking for potential fire hazards such as fly tipped rubbish or clutter blocking fire exits.
- Post-fire Support
A number of FRS’s in conjunction with the Red Cross offer the ability to volunteer as a support worker.
This involves attending fires or serious incidents where people have lost their home and personal belongings, and offering them some immediate comfort in the form of blankets, water and pragmatic and practical support (such as contacts for temporary rehoming, the necessary paperwork for replacing official ID documents lost in a fire etc.)
- Youth Engagement Programmes
An ever-increasing number of FRS’s run a number of Youth Engagement programmes, all of which target a particular age group or cohort of young people.
The Fire Cadets programme for example is targeted at 14-17 year olds who attend a local fire station once a week (usually in line with the academic year) and works towards a nationally recognised qualification.
This is achieved through a mixture of classroom based lessons and practical drill yard sessions. The majority of these programmes run solely on a volunteer basis and offer young adults the ability to develop their teamwork, public speaking and organisational skills.
All of these opportunities present invaluable experiences and will help you decide if a career in the FRS is really for you.
You can volunteer all the hours God sends and know everything there is to know about your desired FRS, but it will be your ability to convey to your potential employer why you’re best for the role that secures you that dream job.