How to become a Firefighter?

Well-paid, challenging, diverse and with good opportunities for career development, being a Firefighter is not only cool to introduce yourself as, it can also be an incredibly rewarding career path.

This sound like it might be of interest? The National Careers Service says that you'll need the following attributes for a successful career in firefighting:

  • Being flexible and able to adapt to changing situations or demands of the job

  • Good communication skills which include contributing your ideas, listening to others and being clear and confident

  • Being confident to take the lead and put yourself/ideas forward

  • Able to think quickly and to solve problem and communicate your ideas clearly to others

  • Work as a team to support others

  • Skills to organise and manage your time well

  • Cope well under pressure

If this sounds like you – then lets take a look at...

How to become a Firefighter?

Becoming a firefighter isn't an easy feat. It can takes months of preparation, lots of work and even more patience. Recruitment into some fire and rescue services only happens every couple of years, so make sure you put a sufficient amount of time and thought into your application.

The recruitment process can take anything from 4 to 12 months, and there are generally 6 or 7 steps.

1) Application – by far the most important part, with up to 90% of applicants failing at this step, this is the first time the fire and rescue service you are applying to receives any information about who you are.

Top Tips:

  • Draft your answers in rough first, and check over thoroughly

  • Make sure you don't leave any blank spaces – many fire and rescue services will fail you for forgetting to put in a postcode in the right box for example

  • Make a second copy before submitting, so you have a record of what you said prior to an interview

2) Online tests – you'll then be sent a link to two online tests, in maths and English. Brush up on your skills at Khan Academy.

3) Assessment Centre – which will include an interview, roleplay (find out more here)and written exercise. While the recruitment process does vary across the UK, some areas likely to be assessed are:

  • Working with Others

  • Commitment to Diversity and Integrity

  • Commitment to Excellence

  • Commitment to Development

  • Effective Communication.

4) Fitness Test – you will be required to pass six physical job-related tests, which include:

  • Ladder climb

  • Ladder lift

  • Casualty evacuation

  • Enclosed space

  • Equipment assembly

  • Equipment carry

Some tips can be found on the London Fire Brigade website here.

After passing your fitness test, you will then go through medical tests, references and 6 weeks of pre-course learning before starting full training.