Wholetime firefighter recruitment process


There are six stages to the recruitment process for wholetime firefighters:

  • Stage 1 - Online application

  • Stage 2 - Practical Tests

  • Stage 3 - Interview

  • Stage 4 - The Medical

  • Stage 5 - References

  • Stage 6 - Welcome to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Stage 1 - Online application

The registration window is currently closed.

During the registration period candidates will need to register and complete two online assessments:

  • Behavioural Styles Questionnaire (BSQ)

  • Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

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

  • Verbal Reasoning

  • Mechanical Reasoning

  • Numerical Reasoning

Candidates who successfully pass all three ability tests will be invited via email to attend a one day practical assessment.

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

Stage 2 - Practical tests

Once you have passed the online application process we will invite you to get physical during the practical examinations.

The role of a firefighter is physically demanding and so it is important for us to assess your ability to handle the situations and challenges you will face.   We do this through a series of physical and practical tests. These will include:

  • Ladder Climb - This aims to test your confidence with heights.

  • Casualty Evacuation - This aims to test your upper and lower body strength as well as your co-ordination.

  • Ladder Lift - This aims to test your upper and lower body strength as well as your co-ordination. 

  • Enclosed Space - Working in enclosed spaces is sometimes required when working as a firefighter. This test is designed to test your confidence, agility and stamina working in these conditions.

  • Equipment Assembly - This test is designed to assess your manual dexterity and coordination.

  • Equipment Carry - This aims to test your upper and lower body strength as well as your co-ordination. 

These sessions are run by our Operational Training Group so you will be in safe hands as you progress through the day.

Videos demonstrating the National Firefighter Selection Tests

For more information about the test - Practical Tests

Stage 3 - Interview

Upon successfully passing the practical tests you will be invited to attend an interview.  This will take place at Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Winsford, Cheshire, and lasts for about an hour.

This will be our chance to get to know more about you and ask you more about the information you provided within your online application.

The following information provides assistance in preparation for your interview:

Competency Based Interview Questions (new window, PDF 141KB)

NFCC Leadership Framework (new window, PDF 6506KB)

The STAR Method (new window, PDF 233KB)

Stage 4 - The Medical

We need you to take a full medical assessment prior to joining us. We will need you to meet the nationally agreed health and fitness standards for the physically demanding and potentially hazardous role of a firefighter and to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

The assessment will be conducted at our Occupational Health Unit at our Winsford Headquarters.

The tests that will be completed on the day will include:

  • A check of your blood pressure and pulse

  • Checks of your height, weight and body mass index

  • A hearing test

  • A vision test (Please note, if you have received laser eye surgery this procedure must have been carried out a minimum of 1 month prior to your medical assessment)

  • A test of your lung function

  • A drugs and alcohol test

For further details of the medical (including what to wear and exactly what will be tested) - The medical

Stage 5 -  References

You’re almost there! We will now just need to check your references.  We will also need to carry out a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.  This process can take some time but don’t worry, we will get in touch as soon as we have everything back.

Once we have both references and a satisfactory DBS check is received back we will be in a position to offer you the post of a wholetime firefighter.

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. 

Stage 6 - Welcome to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

You have made it! You will now begin your 16 week initial training course to become a firefighter. 

Further details of what this training will involve are detailed below.

  • Pumps and ladders

  • Breathing apparatus and fire behaviour

  • Road traffic collision

  • Trauma care

  • Hazardous materials

  • Specialist rescue

Last updated: Friday 05 November 2021