The on-call firefighter selection process

To make sure we find the best people for the job there are a number of stages to the selection process. You will be required to commit some time to attend each stage, and we appreciate this may involve booking time off work and re-arranging family commitments.

Stage 1: The application form

Completing your application form will take some time and, to assist you in deciding if it is the right job is for you, you are first asked to complete two pre-application checklists. Checklist one will help you decide whether you are likely to enjoy working as a firefighter, and checklist two will determine if you are eligible to apply. 

Your application will be assessed and, if you meet the required cover and distance criteria and your station is recruiting, you will be invited to take part in the selection process.

Stage 2: The interview

You will be invited to attend your local on-call fire station for an informal interview with the station management team, for approximately one hour, normally held on an evening. This will be an opportunity for the team to get to know you and further explain the role and expectations of an on-call firefighter; it will also be an opportunity for you to find out more about the life of an on-call firefighter and if you are likely to enjoy it.

Stage 3: The fitness test

If you are successful in the informal interview, you will be invited to take a fitness test (Chester Treadmill Test) to determine if you meet the minimum VO2 standard of 42; this will take approximately half an hour, however it is a 12 minute treadmill test. If you do not meet the standard at this stage and our Fitness Advisor feels you are able to improve your fitness levels, you will be provided with fitness guidance. 

Stage 4: The written tests

You will be invited to take the full suite of written tests detailed below, which take approximately three hours. You will be provided with a practice booklet so that you may become familiar with the type of tests you will take.

If you can provide original evidence that you possess GCSEs grade A-C (or equivalent) in Maths and English you will only be required to take the Situational Awareness and Problem Solving Test, which will take approximately one hour. 

Stage 5: The physical and strength tests

You will be invited to attend the practical physical tests which will be conducted in small group sessions by our training team. The tests, which take approximately three hours, will include:

These tests replicate the type of tasks you would be expected to undertake on the training school and within the role of On-Call firefighter. They are designed to test practical ability and the ability to follow instructions. More information is available on the preparing for the physical tests page.

Once the physical tests are complete, decisions will be made about which candidates will be offered a place on our next training course.

Stage 6: Medicals and job offers

Those who pass the selection process and are chosen for the next training course will be sent a conditional job offer in the post (subject to satisfactorily completing a full medical assessment, and satisfactory references and pre-employment checks). 

The medical assessment will take approximately two hours, and will include a further fitness test if necessary.  

Arrangements will then be made for you to attend a uniform fitting. 

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