Wholetime firefighter recruitment

* Recruitment window opens soon for September 2023 start *

We recruit cohorts of wholetime firefighters periodically, promoting the recruitment campaign across our social media platforms, in the mainstream media and by holding taster days either on fire stations or in the community. If you think this is the career for you, read more about the role here and look out for our recruitment campaigns for when you can apply.

Changing lives...saving lives, every day is different for a firefighter

If you’re passionate about changing lives in your community, and want to contribute to saving lives by reducing the risk of incidents, then being a firefighter is the role for you.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service does not just fight fires and rescue people.  In fact, only around five per cent of a firefighter’s time is spent attending incidents.  They are actively involved in their communities, carrying out prevention work to reduce the chance of fires happening in the first place, delivering road safety campaigns to reduce the number of road traffic collisions and working closely with young people through programmes such as The Prince’s Trust Team, Fire Cadets and Respect courses. 

What you can expect from us

You will succeed because of who you are, not what you are

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s core values revolve around doing the right thing, making a difference, acting with compassion and we also pride ourselves on our commitment to being a highly inclusive employer.  We welcome people from all walks of life and backgrounds and have worked very hard to ensure that all of our employees are able to maximise their performance and potential in a working environment that is welcoming, positive, respectful and friendly. 

As a firefighter, you will have the opportunity to make a real difference within your community, working as part of a team and enjoying a varied career earning over £31,000 within 18 months when gaining competency.  Other benefits include working in an environment where the health, safety and wellbeing of staff are key priorities, coupled with generous family friendly policies, up to 35 days annual leave, flexible working opportunities, free parking, onsite gyms and maternity and adoption provision of up to a year off with full pay.  

For anyone considering a career as a firefighter there are taster events organised to enable people to try out the practical tests, speak to serving firefighters and learn more about the application process.

The initial stages of the recruitment process will be undertaken online. This method of recruitment is designed to make an initial assessment of the applicant’s potential to work as a firefighter using a range of specifically designed questions examining the qualities and basic knowledge required for the role.

"The organisation is looking to recruit a new cohort of wholetime firefighters," explained Chief Fire Officer Alex Waller.  "Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has transformed in recent years to become one of the best performing and innovative fire and rescue services in the country, acknowledged by many awards and accolades.

Our vision is a simple one, to be an outstanding Service where there are no deaths, injuries or damage from fires or other emergencies and we are looking for men and women with a wholehearted commitment and willingness to work hard as part of a team.

Recruitment process

The application process is designed to give everyone, irrespective of their professional or personal background, an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to be a firefighter.

The heightened emphasis placed on fire safety and prevention in recent years has not only reduced fires within our communities, but has also dramatically changed the role of the modern day firefighter.  I would therefore urge anyone who wants to make a difference within their communities and to change and save lives, to come and talk to us or contact us via the website.” continued Alex.

It is also important that, as a modern, forward thinking organisation, there is a workforce that is reflective of the diverse communities served.  Members of under-represented communities are encouraged to apply, especially women, people of all ethnic groups and LGBT+ communities. Vacancies are open to everyone, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability, and no advantages will be given to any particular group of people during the application process.  However, in order to properly serve Cheshire’s communities, it is important the Service’s workforce is diversified.

More information about the role of a wholetime firefighter and application details can be found below.

Prior to completing your registration and any on line tests please read the following guidance for candidates:

Online Assessments Guidance for applicants (new window, PDF 287KB)

During this period candidates will need to register their details and answer a number of eligibility questions.

Once candidates have completed the registration and eligibility stage they will be informed on screen whether they have passed, failed or been referred to the HR Department of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service because we require further information from you before deciding if you are eligible.

Once candidates have registered and successfully passed the eligibility questions they will receive two separate emails inviting them to complete the first stage of the assessment process:

  • Behavioural Styles Questionnaire

  • Situational Judgement Test

If candidates successfully pass these assessments, they will be invited to complete 3 timed online ability tests.

  • Verbal Reasoning

  • Mechanical Reasoning

  • Numerical Reasoning

Below are practice links to the FRS Ability Tests which candidates can complete prior to attempting the actual tests:

Candidates who successfully pass all three tests will be invited via email on Friday 17th December 2021 to attend a one day practical assessment which will take place week commencing 3rd January 2022 at our Sadler Road Training Centre site in Winsford.

Prior to attending the one day practical assessment candidates will have the opportunity to attend a Firefighter Fitness Orientation session. These sessions will take place on week commencing 20th December 2021 and last approximately 1 and a half hours at our Sadler Road Training Centre site in Winsford.

Candidates successful at practical will be invited to attend an interview.

Those offered an appointment to the role of Firefighter with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will be expected to start their initial course subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks including medical, references and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

Successful candidates will be appointed as an Apprentice Firefighter and will undertake the Level 3 Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship standard, which will typically take up to 18 months to complete.

In order to apply, you must at least possess one or both GCSE qualifications in Maths and English, with a minimum grade of C/4 or equivalent.  Where you do not possess the required grade or equivalent qualification, in one of these areas i.e. Maths or English, you will be required to achieve the qualification as part of the apprenticeship and support will be provided to you through our educational provider.

The role of a wholetime firefighter

Please use the links below to find out more about the role of a firefighter:

You can find out more about Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service through our social media channels.

Videos - national firefighter selection tests

There’s a range of videos to show you how to be prepared and ready to apply for the opportunity to take on the challenging and rewarding role of a wholetime firefighter.

Videos demonstrating the National Firefighter Selection Tests

On-call recruitment

The Service's on-call recruitment campaign will continue to run alongside the wholetime recruitment initiative.

Find out which fire stations are looking for on-call firefighters

Last updated: Monday 06 February 2023

Related images

Cheshire firefighters