Application process for on-call firefighters

Application process for on-call firefighters

Thank you for your interest in working for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. We have temporarily paused our on-call firefighter recruitment. Please check this page regularly for updates.

There are a few steps to becoming a firefighter. This timeline will take you through the key stages in our application process and what to expect.

Step one


The first step to becoming a firefighter is the application form. This is where you fill in your personal details and explain how you meet the eligibility criteria.

It's here that you’ll need to be clear about the cover you’re able to provide. The candidates that match the cover that we need at the time will then be brought forward.

Initially, you must only submit one application. When you apply you will be asked to input your National Insurance number in your application form which we will use to identify multiple applications.

Step two

Online tests

You’ll then complete two online psychometric tests and three online ability tests.

You’ll receive an email link inviting you to take the test, with practice tests too. You can have a go at the practice tests as many times as you like.

Find out what you can expect in the online tests

Step three

Fitness test and practical assessments

An important part of being a firefighter is making sure you have a good level of fitness. We assess this through a Bleep test.

You'll also do a practical assessment, involving the following:

  • Ladder lift
  • Ladder climb
  • Equipment assembly
  • Equipment carry
  • Breathing apparatus and confined space

Find out more about the fitness and practical tests

Potential firefighter recruits doing a fitness test

Step four


Phew. You’re now over halfway through. Now it’s time for the interview. This is done face-to-face, and you’ll be asked about your experience, knowledge and skills. It’s here that we want to see whether you’ve got the qualities we’re looking for.

Step five

Medical and DBS

We’ll carry out a medical and fitness assessment to make sure you’re able to do the role. This includes:

  • height and weight measurement to give an idea of general health
  • blood pressure test
  • urinalysis
  • an eye test (with and without glasses if you wear them)
  • a breathing test to check your lung function
  • a hearing test
  • fitness assessment.

You’ll be asked questions about your health and any disabilities or medical needs you may have. All cases are looked at individually while following professional medical guidance.

Our fitness advisers will carry out a fitness assessment as part of the medical called a VO2 max test. You will jog on a treadmill wearing a facemask while connected to an analyser. The gradient and speed will gradually increase. This will measure your lung capacity. This test equates to level 8.8 on the bleep test.

You'll also complete a criminal records check (DBS).

Step six


Following the medical stage, the references on your application will be followed up. When everything is cleared, you’ll receive a contract of employment and a start date for your initial training.


Once you've reached this stage, it's time to celebrate.

New trainee firefighters

Attending assessments

Once you have the dates for your assessments, we recommend putting these in your diary or on a calendar. If you arrive late to any of the assessments or forget to attend, you will be withdrawn from the application process.


  • If you're unsuccessful at any point during this process, you'll be able to re-apply six months from the date you're told you are unsuccessful.
  • If you re-apply and are unsuccessful again, then you will need to wait 18 months before submitting another application.

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