The fire control recruitment process

This section guides you through the recruitment process, which may span up to four months. Stay informed about registration opening and the timescales by subscribing to our mailing list.

For seamless online engagement, all stages can be completed on a laptop or tablet. Please be aware that these stages are not compatible with smartphones.

Monitor your emails on a regular basis to ensure that you do not miss any vital communication.

Stage 1: Eligibility and application 

Before applying for the role with Avon Fire & Rescue Service as a fire control operator, you must: 

In this role, you must undergo an enhanced DBS check, which includes reviewing spent and unspent convictions, cautions, police intelligence, and the barred list. Certain convictions may disqualify you as a fire control operator. Contact [email protected] for questions.

The first section requires detailing sickness absence in the past 12 months. Exceeding five days prompts a request for further details. HR assesses this information, considering long-term absences positively but repeated minor ailments as potential disqualifiers. Good health, wellbeing, and a strong work ethic are essential for fire control operators.

Declare if you’ll be 18 or above when training school starts, as the role involves dealing with sensitive situations and operating service vehicles.

A driving licence is also essential for this role due to the location of our Fire Control department. If you do not already possess a full UK driving licence, then you must be willing to gain a full UK driving licence within two years of employment. As a fire control operator, the working pattern includes early mornings and late nights. Our Service is a 24 hour service, 365 days a year. 

We have found that reliance on public transport has resulted in complications in employees not being able to arrive at work on the required times which impacts the efficiency of the crew. There is also the requirement to work at different Service locations in accordance to the Service’s needs.

Stage 2: Personal statement

The second section of the application form is the personal statement (up to 1,500 words). In this section we are looking for candidates to demonstrate the core skills required to become a fire control operator, these include; 

Ensure your application stands out by presenting evidence for your skills and experiences relevant to the role of a fire control operator. Include examples from your current or past roles, voluntary work, education, or other experiences, avoiding general statements without evidence.

In your personal statement, also demonstrate how you align with Avon Fire & Rescue Service values: Respectful, Honest, Courageous, Ambitious, Inclusive, and Transparent. Provide examples showcasing your respect for others, honesty, courage in actions, determination to succeed, inclusivity, and transparency.

Organise your statement into two sections: one focusing on skills and experience, and the other addressing each of the values. You may wish to use clear headings or bullet points for clarity. Draft your statement in advance, allowing sufficient time for thoughtful examples.

Consider a range of examples, even those with challenging outcomes, as they demonstrate valuable learning experiences. Make the most of the 1,500 words, be concise, and proofread before submission. Seek input from friends, family, or colleagues to ensure you’ve covered all points and showcased your full range of skills and strengths.

Stage 3: Shortlisting 

During this busy period, refrain from contacting Human Resources for updates as we are unable to provide specific feedback due to the high volume of applications. Generic feedback will be sent via email. If shortlisted, you’ll receive an invitation for an assessment and interview. The application form shortlisting score won’t be disclosed; it will be considered at the end, combined with the interview score, to select top candidates for the fire control operator training course.

Stage 4: Assessment Centre 

The assessment centre will feature a series of technical tests aimed at assessing your attention to detail, ability to stay calm under pressure, and effective communication skills. These tests are designed to evaluate your literacy and numeracy abilities, crucial for this role. The tests include:

  1. Memory re-call
  2. Typing test
  3. Numeracy test
  4. Practical – Radio and Telephony script-based test

If you score sufficiently, your results will be carried across to the interview stage.

Stage 5: Interview 

The interview lasts one hour and will comprise of six set questions which are the same for all candidates. It will be conducted by a panel of two members of our staff.

You can schedule your assessment interview by booking a date and time slot through our online system, with the link sent to you.

The interview panel aims to create a relaxed environment for you to perform your best. They will ask various questions to gather comprehensive information within the hour. Seize this opportunity to elaborate on your skills, experience, and values, demonstrating why you’re among the top candidates for the role. Familiarise yourself with the fire control operator position at Avon Fire & Rescue Service by reviewing our website.

Given the competitive nature and limited vacancies, success in the interview will be communicated via email, progressing you to the next stage. Interview scores won’t be disclosed, as they will be considered at the end of the process to select the best candidates for the limited training course spots.

Stage 6: Job offer decisions 

The HR Team will assess candidates who have successfully completed all stages, focusing on those who scored highest in the application form shortlisting and interview stages.

Top candidates will receive invitations for a medical examination conducted by our Occupational Health (OH) Nurse. Passing the medical is mandatory. The purpose of the medical is to ensure that your hearing is within the set standard for this role. The purpose of the medical is to ensure that your hearing is within the set standard for this role. Any medical queries will be escalated to our OH Doctor, whose decision is final. If additional medical advice is needed, it may impact the timely issuance of a job offer, as we aim to finalise offers quickly for the training school start date.

All job offers are conditional, pending satisfactory references and other pre-employment checks.

Stage 7: Training School 

Training school will take place at the Southwest Command and Development Centre, Cotswold Way, Lansdown, Bath, BA1 9DB from 9 September 2024.

Further details will be provided at the job offer stage. Please be aware that you will not be able to take any annual leave during this period for any reason due to the intensity of the training school. 

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