Firefighter and Community Safety Apprentice

Firefighters training to use a hose reel jet

If you are enthusiastic, committed to learning new skills, dedicated to delivering an excellent service to the community and keen to step into a vocation like no other then a career as an apprentice within Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service might be for you!

This is your opportunity to join one of the country’s leading fire and rescue services as a Firefighter and Community Safety (FCS) Apprentice. We are currently looking to appoint 12 apprentices to this dynamic programme.

What does the apprenticeship involve?

This exciting 36 month apprenticeship will equip you with the skills and knowledge you will need to be a firefighter within a modern fire and rescue service. 

This is a varied apprenticeship where you will spend time learning about the work of our various departments, including Prevention and Protection as well as experiencing the operational work carried out by our firefighting crews. 

You will firstly undertake the Level 3 Community Safety Apprenticeship for 15 months and upon successful completion of this, you will then commence the Level 3 Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship for 21 months. During the course of the programme you will also have access to many other learning opportunities and qualifications.

For the first 24 months, you will be paid in line with the real Living Wage currently set at £9.00 per hour.  You will be required to work 37 hours a week and your annual apprenticeship salary (based on this rate) will be £17,363.63 per annum.

Upon successful completion of the first 24 months, you will be placed on station as a Development Firefighter and will be paid in line with the Development Firefighter rate, currently £10.90 per hour, £23,862 per annum. You will be aligned to a watch and be required to work 42 hours per week.

What will I do?

To understand the important role that prevention activities play in reducing fires and accidents within Cheshire, for the first part of the apprenticeship you will take up a post in the Prevention team.  Here you will learn how to carry out home safety assessments (HSAs), conduct safe and well visits and road safety awareness sessions.

Prior to starting in the Prevention department, you will attend a 6 week induction, which includes a 4 week operational firefighter course. During the induction, you will learn about the Service, its values and standards expected.  To understand the important role that prevention activities play in reducing fires and accidents within Cheshire, you will then move in to the Prevention Department where you will receive further training and experience conducting safe and well visits, deliver prevention training to children both at their schools and as a Ranger at the state of the art Safety Centre at Lymm.  You will also learn about Protection and shadow a TFSO; study for the Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE) exams in fire safety, administration and science; support Cadets and fundraise for a ‘Leadership Challenge’. Additionally, you will participate in weekly physical training sessions and will be put through your paces, as you will need to be physically fit to undertake our operational training courses.

At the end of the Community Safety Apprenticeship, you will undertake an End Point Assessment and upon successful completion, you can move onto the Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship.

During this apprenticeship, you will undertake the 16 weeks operational firefighter course; attend Fire Service College and study for the Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE) exam in fire operations. You will also participate in a leadership challenge which will involve travelling to Nepal (or similar) to undertake work for a charity for approximately 3 weeks. For the final 12 months, you will be aligned to a watch on station and expect to be a competent firefighter and undertake the End Point Assessment at the end of 21 months.

Who can apply?

To be eligible you will need:

  • To be aged 18 years or over at the start of the programme (9th September 2019)

  • Have Maths and English GCSE (grades A-C)

  • To be physically fit as you will need to pass the firefighter selection tests

  • To be prepared to travel to different sites across Cheshire

Future Career Prospects

The intended outcome for all of our FCS apprentices is to secure permanent employment with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service upon completion of the programme.  Therefore subject to achieving satisfactory performance reviews throughout the duration of your apprenticeship, you will be offered the opportunity of joining Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service initially as a Development Firefighter.

One thing is for sure, once fully trained, you will able to look forward to a varied and highly rewarding career within an organisation that strives for excellence in every area of the business.


If the variety and challenge of this apprenticeship opportunity appeals to you then what are you waiting for?

The first step is to apply to participate in the selection process before the closing date of 5pm, Monday 27th May 2019. The selection process is likely to be demanding but don’t let that put you off as this is a fantastic opportunity to embark upon a career that will not only change your life, but also help save the lives of others.

Learn more about the selection process

Find out how to apply and about the selection process

If after reading all the information, you have a question please email


Poster - Are you looking for an apprenticeship like no other? If yes, look no further! (new window, PDF 294KB)

Brochure - Firefighter and Community Safety Apprentice (new window, PDF 7046KB)


Find out what some of our apprentices think about the Firefighter and Community Safety Apprenticeship Scheme by watching their vlogs

Apprentice vlogs (opens in new window)

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is proudly committed to equality, diversity and inclusion for all its staff and communities. Promoting equality and diversity is a Core Value at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and we are explicitly inclusive of all, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

We are currently the 3rd best performing organisation on the 2019 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, a Disability Confident Employer and achieved Excellence on the Fire and Rescue Service Equality Framework.

We have a number of internal staff networks (namely FirePride for LGBT colleagues and Limitless Women’s network) and more information can be found here: LGBT equality