Fire control FAQs

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that you may find useful when learning about the role of a Fire Control Operator.

Is there an age limit?

There is no upper age limit but you must be aged 18 when the training course starts.

Why are we encouraging applications from people from minority ethnic groups and those with disabilities?

At Avon Fire & Rescue Service, we actively encourage applications from currently under-represented groups. Currently we have below average control employees from minority ethnic groups, and/or are disabled.

To address this, we’re taking additional measures to raise awareness of the fire control operator role among under-represented groups. Our aim is to attract the best talent, ensuring a broad pool of applicants and encouraging those who may not have considered a career in the fire and rescue service.

Every candidate, irrespective of their background, will be considered on merit once they submit an application.

I have a medical condition, can I still apply?

Avon Fire and Rescue Service is a disability-confident employer, recognising the valuable talents individuals with disabilities bring. However, certain medical conditions could potentially prevent you from becoming a fire control operator.

For confidential discussions, please contact our HR Team via email: [email protected] or phone 01179 262061 before applying. It is advisable to enquire beforehand to determine if you are likely to meet the medical criteria.

While HR can offer general advice, the final decision rests with the doctor during the medical stage of the selection process. Upon successfully passing all stages, you will need to complete a health questionnaire and undergo a medical assessment. The Occupational Health Doctor will assess your fitness for safely becoming a fire control operator.

I have a criminal conviction, will this prevent me from applying?

If your criminal conviction is spent then this will not preclude you from applying. If your conviction is not spent we will consider the nature of the conviction and any impact upon employment on a case by case basis. Offences such as drink driving, violence or sexual offences are likely to preclude you from being offered a post. If you wish to discuss in confidence with a member of our HR Team please call us on 0117 9262061.

What shifts do fire control operators work?

The current shift patterns are normally two days (8am-5pm) followed by two nights (5pm-8am) and then four days off.

What about hearing standards? 

Your hearing will be assessed during your medical. The following summative measures are used to assign an overall score for each ear (H1, H2, H3, H4 and H5). The worse ear is used for recruitment purposes, with levels H1 and H2 being acceptable. If you have any concerns about your hearing you should check if you are likely to meet the required standards with your GP or arrange a test through a private hearing test provider (eg Boots, Specsavers).

 LF Sum  HF SumSpeech Sum
H1≤ 45 dB H≤ 45 dB HL≤ 35 dB HL
H2≤ 60 dB HL≤ 80 dB HL≤ 60 dB HL (no value > 25 dB HL)
H3≤ 80 dB HL≤ 120 dB HL≤ 90 dB HL (no value > 40 dB HL)
H4< 120 dB HL≤ 150 dB HL ≤ 120 dB HL
H5> 120 dB HL> 150 dB HL> 120 dB HL

I am dyslexic, will I still be able to apply?

If you are dyslexic, you can apply. You must indicate that you are dyslexic where prompted on your application form so that reasonable adjustments can be considered for you. When you reach the technical tests stage, you may be provided with extra time to take the tests if this is supported by evidence of your dyslexia, which must be from an appropriate specialist.

How will I know my application is progressing?

You will be informed of your position at each stage of the selection process; this will be by email. Please do not contact us to check your progress as we cannot respond to all queries due to the volume of applications.

How long is the training course?

The training course is 12 weeks in total.

Do I need a driving licence when I apply?

If you do not have a driving licence, there is the expectation that you will gain a driving licence within two years of employment and any offers of employment will be subject to this condition.

What should I wear when invited to the assessments?

There is no particular dress code however you will be provided with any specific details when being invited to each assessment.

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