Wholetime firefighter - Is this job for you?


The common image of the Fire and Rescue Service is naturally one of firefighters turning out in fire appliances and fighting fires. It is true, of course that some of the work involves attendance at fires, but the role of the Service is much wider.

In recent years greater emphasis has been placed on the Fire and Rescue Service's role within the community, with firefighters spending more time out in the community raising awareness, conducting Home Safety Assessments, communicating fire prevention and other safety messages.

In addition, firefighters' work life and training also has to be geared to responding at top speed to emergency calls, regardless of weather conditions or the time of day or night. Every time firefighters are called to the scene of an emergency they must be prepared to deploy each and every skill in which they have been trained.

Fully competent firefighters are skilled technicians capable of using the most modern equipment, methods and techniques to undertake the full range of firefighting, rescue, road accidents and other emergencies which the Fire and Rescue Service is called upon to deal with.

When they arrive at an incident as part of a team under the command of a Watch Manager or Crew Manager, firefighters may individually have to absorb a great deal of information rapidly and apply the skills they have learnt in conditions which will often be extremely dangerous and confusing. Despite all the training given in preparation for such incidents, however, firefighters will from time to time be faced with new situations where they may individually be required to provide the answers using previous experiences as a guide.

A firefighter wearing breathing apparatus feeling a way through a smoke filled building with toxic hazards in order to effect a rescue cannot ask for instructions. In order to function effectively in emergencies every firefighter's pre-eminent characteristics must be those of courage, physical strength, the capacity for rapid, intense and sustained effort, an unquestioning acceptance of orders at emergencies combined with the capacity to use initiative when alone, the skilled technicians complete an automatic familiarity with the equipment and tools of the profession which may range up to major items of plant such as turntable ladders, a practical understanding of the basis of a wide range of subjects necessary to anticipate and overcome hazards, sympathy towards the victims of emergencies and the ability to carry on in what may occasionally be emotionally harrowing circumstances.

The successful applicant should possess the following:

  • A mature and balanced outlook

  • Be capable of functioning under pressure

  • Be an effective and reliable team worker

  • Exhibit a high standard of self discipline

  • Be punctual, honest and dependable

  • Able to use initiative

  • Able to assimilate new skills

  • Able to retain information quickly and accurately

  • Able to accept discipline

  • Able to communicate clearly both verbally and in written form

  • Maintain high standards of personal fitness and stamina with a capacity for rapid intense and sustained efforts

  • Be sociable and self confident

  • Be enthusiastic and tenacious

  • Have common sense and sound problem sharing ability

Eye Sight Requirements

You must have good colour vision (as tested by Ishihara plates). Your eyesight will also be tested by a qualified ophthalmologist. As our eyesight requirements are currently under review, where individuals do not meet the current standard, we will review this on a case by case basis.

Eye sight requirements

Personal Qualities and Attributes (PQAs)

If you wish to be considered for a key role as a firefighter you must have the necessary Personal Qualities and Attributes.

Personal firefighter qualities and attributes

Last updated: Wednesday 20 October 2021

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