Become a fire control operator

Ready to find your true calling? We can’t wait to have you on our crew.

But first, you’ll want to know what’s involved.

You don’t need to have had experience in a fire control setting before. Just great communication skills and the passion to help your community.

Fire Control operator with headset

Who we're looking for

Calm and collected

You’ll have to remain level-headed while dealing with high-pressured situations and making decisions.

A team player

You’ll work as a wide-reaching team across many organisations, so you’ll need to be a confident communicator.

Extreme attention to detail

Capturing the information accurately is crucial, so you’ll need to be able to listen carefully and know the right questions to ask to receive and record the necessary information.

Resilient and reassuring

Maintaining a balance between giving clear, direct advice to help someone in an emergency, while having a compassionate tone to someone who might be having the worst day of their life.

Essential criteria

You must:

  • be at least 18 years old to apply. There is no maximum age limit for applications
  • have no unspent criminal convictions
  • have a good level of English and Maths. You do not need any formal qualifications but will be tested on this during the application process, as you’ll need to be able to give instructions and communicate effectively with your team and members of the public.

Terms of work


As a trainee Fire Control operator, your starting salary is £22,198. You'll earn £29,587 when fully competent.

Working pattern

You will work in shift patterns of two days on followed by two nights on and then four days’ rest.

The hours are 9am-6pm and 6pm to 9am. This reflects the wholetime firefighter working pattern.

Training and progression

There is a designated training team for new recruits. You’ll spend the first part of your training working Monday – Friday daytime shifts, as well as spending time with the duty watches.

You’ll learn about the service resources, equipment, call handling, how to use the mobilising system, and apply policy and procedures.

After this training, you’ll have two years of development, after which you’ll be fully competent.

But you’ll be supported throughout your time in Fire Control, with refresher training and great opportunities for progression. Many of our staff are also on-call firefighters too, as the working hours compliment this perfectly. 

Application process

Step one:


You’ll need to submit a written application to demonstrate your skills and experience. 

Step two


If you’re shortlisted, you’ll then have to go through a further selection process and sit a number of tests.

These include:

  • Typing test – 30 words per minute with 90% accuracy required
  • Aptitude test – This is a multi-tasking test that will test your ability to recall information and input information at the same time
  • Pre-learning test – Before the test, you’ll be given some information to learn which you’ll then need to recall using our systems
  • Online verbal reasoning test – In this timed test, you’ll be given some passages of information and will have to decide whether you think the statements are true, false or whether it’s not possible to say.
  • Practical assessment – You’ll use the fire service mobilising system and will be given scenarios. It’s here that you’ll have to follow instructions, complete tasks and recall information while problem solving and thinking quickly.

Step three


Following the tests, you’ll be invited to an interview. A panel made up of three Service employees (normally a line manager and representative from Human Resources) will ask you specific questions.

Step four


Appointment to role is then subject to proof of nationality, eligibility to work in the UK and receipt of satisfactory references.


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Pension scheme

All new starters can join the local government pension scheme.

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Annual leave

To help you plan your life outside of work, you’ll know your schedule a year in advance. The holiday allowance is 25 days, rising to 33 days after you’ve worked for us for three years.

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Family leave

We’re committed to making sure that our staff have the ability to balance their career with their role as a parent or carer too. Read more about family leave.

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Someone to talk to

Life has its challenges, but with us you’ll never have to face them alone.  Everyone in the organisation has free access to counselling, and support is also available for family members too. We also have trained staff supporters and mental health first aiders who are there whenever you need someone to talk to. As members of the Service, you and your family can access physical, emotional and social support through The Fire Fighters Charity whether you’re currently serving or retired. Find out more on the Fire Fighters Charity website.

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Every member of staff can have sessions with a physiotherapist for free, helping you maintain your physical health.

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Free gym access

With a free on-site gym at Service Headquarters, it’s even easier for you to stay fit and healthy; no matter what role you’re in.

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Fitness coaching

From dietary plans to exercise advice, we’ll support you to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle with support from our fitness team.

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Eye care

We recognise that your role means you spend a lot of time looking at a screen. That’s why you’ll get a voucher towards bi-annual eye tests and a new pair of glasses.

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Free parking

There is free parking for staff at Service Headquarters.

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You’ll be able to access the Blue Light Card scheme, which gives members of emergency services discounts online and on the high street. We’ve also partnered with lots of local organisations who will give you access to discounts and freebies too.

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Affordable healthcare

We’ve teamed up with award-winning healthcare provider, Benenden Health, a mutual not-for-profit society, to give our staff access to a wide range of healthcare services (such as round-the-clock reassurance from a GP). All members pay the same low monthly fee regardless of age and any pre-existing medical conditions.

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Sports and social

From martial arts to mountaineering, there are lots of staff-run activity groups you can sign up to, offering a space to socialise and boost your fitness in a fun way! 

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We'll help you reach your goals. Whatever your career ambitions, there are lots of opportunities to progress in the Service, and we have a dedicated training academy too.

Our values

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We are proud to help

We show this by doing what we say we will do and seeing things through to the end, demonstrating high standards, working hard and doing our best to get the right outcomes, being motivated, keen and willing to give things a go.

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We are honest

We show this by being open, clear and realistic, admitting and learning from mistakes, showing trust and being trustworthy, being responsible and accountable.

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We are respectful

We show this by being consistent and giving credit where it's due, always being polite, considerate and treating people fairly, genuinely listening, involving and engaging others, being inclusive to all.

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We are working together

We show this by understanding others needs and appreciating their demands, positively challenging, sharing ideas and giving feedback, supporting others and giving practical help and advice, being willing to adapt and change to get the best results.

Common questions

Can I apply if I have a disability?


Absolutely, we consider everyone on an individual basis and we'll support you during your application process and throughout your time in the Service. Find out how we support our staff with disabilities


I have dyslexia, what support is in place for me?


We have a support group for people with dyslexia, and will support you during your application process and throughout your time in the Service.