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Do you really want to be a firefighter?

Find out how suited you might be to a career in the fire service by answering the following questions. If you can answer yes to all of them, and have good examples to back up your answers, then a career as a firefighter might well be for you.

  • Are you genuinely interested in people?
  • Can you get on with people from different backgrounds and cultures?
  • Have you worked as part of a close-knit team?
  • Can you work under pressure without letting the rest of your team down?
  • Can you think on your feet and solve problems when you know a lot depends on the suggestions you come up with?
  • Do you have the sensitivity to deal with members of the public when they are distressed, confused or being obstructive?
  • Can you take responsibility for representing the fire service when you are at work, and
    when you are not?
  • Are you prepared for the demands of working in a disciplined uniformed service in which you will have to take orders from other people?
  • Can you accept the need to keep to rules that tell you what you can and cannot wear, including how you should wear your hair?
  • Are you committed to maintaining your physical fitness?
  • Is regular exercise a part of your everyday life?
  • Are you prepared to work day and night shifts, including evenings, weekends and public holidays?
  • Are you a practical person who likes to work with their hands and with equipment?
  • Do you enjoy making things, or finding out how things work?
  • Are you someone who can always be relied on to be somewhere on time?
  • Are you someone who others see as dependable?
  • Are you prepared to work outside for several hours in all types of weather, not knowing when a job might finish?

Being a firefighter

Firefighters often work in challenging, unpleasant conditions, work long hours, carry out drills and repetitive tasks and deal with people who are in distress.

Firefighters see people on possibly the worst day of their lives; when their home is on fire or they are trapped in a car or their partner or loved one is seriously ill. Every action you take and every decision you make will affect both them and the rest of your team.

It can be a highly rewarding role; knowing that you have helped to protect someone from injury or worse or helped to protect a property from damage. Training and maintenance of skills is a core activity on most days so even if some of this seems daunting now, you will be given the right training and close supervision. For those difficult memories, help and support is always available from your team mates, support staff and other professionals.

To apply, you must:

  • be able to reach your local fire station from where you live or work within five minutes
  • have a good level of fitness and health
  • be over 18 years old.


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