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Job Description

Fire Fighters react to emergency situations to protect people, animals and property from fires, traffic incidents, floods, bomb threats and environmental hazards. They will work with the local community to advise on fire safety and how to prevent them in the first place. Many firefighters are retained which means they have other full-time jobs but carry pagers and will respond when an emergency call is received. Whole-time firefighters normally work in larger towns and cities and this will be their full-time job. Hours of work will typically include unsociable hours, whole-time firefighters will works shifts.

Entry Requirements

You must be 18, although you can apply slightly earlier if you'll be 18 by the time you get the job.

You'll need to pass a series of physical and written tests, a medical and an interview.

You can find out more about the selection process by getting a firefighter recruitment pack from your local fire and rescue service.

You may need GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths, depending on which fire service you want to join.

Volunteering in a support role will give you an idea of the job, as well as access to internal vacancies.

Before you can begin any work, you usually need to pass background security checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Career Path and Progression

All fire services run the Integrated Personal Development System (IPDS)which allows you to plan and track your career development.

You could work your way up to crew manager, watch manager or station manager. If you’re prepared to move between services, you could also become an area manager, a brigade manager or a chief fire officer.

If you're involved in fire safety and prevention work, you can take professional qualifications leading to membership of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE).

You could also get a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) licence for driving fire engines.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Paramedic
  • Police officer
  • Police community support officer
  • Bomb disposal technician
  • Coastguard

National Government Policy states that all students should have achieved at least a Grade 4 or C Grade in English & Maths at GCSE.  Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase the opportunities open to you, support your future career development and prospects.

Students who do not meet this standard will be supported to continue to study English and Maths through full-time education or an Apprenticeship.

Required Skills

  • Excellent team working abilities
  • Able to follow instructions
  • The ability to keep calm and reassure others
  • Good problem solving skills
  • Physical strength and endurance
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • An interest in promoting community safety

Starting Salary

£22,000 to £42,000

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