The On Call Firefighter Recruitment Process

The selection process consists of Ability and Practical Tests, which are job related tasks relevant to a firefighter's role. There are several stages of the recruitment process, which are:

Bleep Test - Fitness Assessment

Candidates will be required to run back and forth between two lines 20 metres apart, maintaining a pace set by an audio cassette. The pace increases at one minute intervals throughout the test. The test finishes if you do not keep pace with the cassette or you reach a pre-determined target. The required level to reach is level 8.6, this equates to approximately 1.5km in 10 minutes. The test ends when the candidate reaches this level or is unable to keep up with the signals after relevant allowances have been made.

Reason for Test

The test is recognised as a good measure of a person's aerobic fitness and stamina. Applicants who do not reach the required standard would not be fit enough to pass the medical examination or start a firefighter's course.

There are several stages to the recruitment process, which are:

Application Form

Candidates will be asked to complete a detailed application form which will be assessed against the national criteria standards to be returned by the deadline specified.

Many candidates fail the application stage because they do not read or follow the instructions. The instructions are there to advise you what we are looking for from candidates and help you to sell yourself, so please read them carefully.

Once applications have been returned, a number of successful applicants will be invited back to undertake a series of selection tests to include:

Psychometric Testing

This stage requires the candidate to complete a series of written psychometric tests. Candidates will be required to pass all of the following tests:

The Working with Numbers Test assesses your ability to understand and work with numerical information, based on information a firefighter is likely to need to work with. It will include addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, along with estimations of numerical data.

The Understanding Information Test assesses your ability to read and understand written information of the type a firefighter is likely to need to deal with. You will be asked to extract relevant information from a variety of written information.

Situational awareness and problem solving assesses your ability to ensure your own safety and the safety of others, and your ability to use information to solve problems. Each question describes a situation and gives four possible ways to respond.

Candidates with disabilities such as dyslexia must make themselves known to a member of the HR Team. This should also be noted on your application form so that arrangements can be made for you.

Please click here to access the National Firefighter Ability Tests - Preparation and Practice Booklet

Physical Testing

This is designed to assess your level of physical fitness and ability to become a wholetime firefighter. If successful you will be invited to attend an interview. If unsuccessful you will be given written feedback.

The tests are timed and consist of the following:


You will be required to attend an interview. This will last for approximately one hour and will consist of questions designed to demonstrate ways in which you meet the relevant Fire Service Personal Qualities and Attributes.

To help you prepare for the National Firefighter Selection Interview please click here to access the practice booklet.


You will be required to undergo a full medical examination by the Service Occupational Health Department. The purpose of the medical is to assess your general level of health and to ensure you are fit to take on the role of a firefighter. You will be asked to complete a questionnaire covering your medical history and will then be subject to a series of tests including an assessment of your aerobic capacity known as a VO2 max measurement. Your medical records may need to be obtained from your GP. Please click here to access information on the current eyesight standards.


An offer of employment is conditional on satisfactory references and Criminal Records Bureau Clearance.

Expression Of Interest

If you would like to express an interest in becoming an on call firefighter please click here. The link will take you to a form where you can fill in your details.

Work Permit (Asylum and Immigration Act 1996)
The Service is required by law to ensure that any persons it employs has the right or permission to reside or work in the United Kingdom. Any person to be offered employment will be required to produce relevant original documentation when requested.