National Firefighter Selection Tests

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Shropshire Firefighters work together with Cheshire Firefighters to tackle a blaze at a farmShropshire Firefighters work together with Cheshire Firefighters to tackle a blaze at a farm

This guide gives a brief outline of the assessments you would be asked to do. These will be split into written assessments and physical/practical assessments. You must successfully complete the written assessments in order to be invited back to complete the physical/practical assessments.

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The National Firefighter Ability Tests

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Written Assessments

You will be required to complete 4 separate written assessments, each of which are designed to gain a more comprehensive picture of a candidate’s ability. The 4 tests are written psychometric tests comprising of the National Firefighter Questionnaire (NFQ), Working with numbers, understanding information and situational awareness and problem solving.

The tests involve:

The National Firefighter Questionnaire
provides objective, fair and relevant information on the key skills, attributes and personal qualities needed to become a successful firefighter.
Working with numbers
assesses your ability to make basic mathematical calculations
Understanding information
assesses your ability to understand and interpret written information that you may commonly come across as a Firefighter
Situational Awareness and problem solving
assesses your ability to ensure the safety of yourself and others and your ability to use information to solve problems

You must successfully pass the written tests to be invited to the next stage of the process, ie., the physical/practical tests.

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Physical / Practical Tests

Applicants who have successfully passed the dealing with information tests will be required to perform a series of practical and physical tests designed to assess physical skills, fitness and manual dexterity related to work in the Fire Service.

The National Firefighter Selection Physical / Practical tests are job-related tests to ensure that you have sufficient practical ability to handle fire service equipment, you can work in confined spaces and you are confident working at heights. Full instruction is given on the day and you will be provided with fire service protective clothing to wear.

The National Firefighter Selection Physical / Practical tests are job-related tests to ensure that you have sufficient practical ability to handle fire service equipment, you can work in confined spaces and you are confident working at heights. Full instruction is given on the day and you will be provided with fire service protective clothing to wear.

Confined Space Test You will be required to negotiate a crawling gallery with a small dummy casualty. You will wear a breathing apparatus face mask with obscured vision. You will have 4 minutes to complete this test.
Ladder climb You will be required to climb a ladder to two-thirds of its height and down again and take a leg lock releasing your hands from the ladder. You will be wearing a full safety harness whilst carrying out the test at height.
Ladder Lift Simulator Test This simulates lifting a quarter weight of a 13.5 metre ladder. You will need to combine upper and lower body strength and co-ordination to lift the ladder simulator to the required height and lower it safely under control, with the cradle loaded with 15kg.
Casualty Evacuation Test You will drag an adult sized casualty dummy around a 30 metre course. This test must be completed within 41 seconds and is at walking pace.
Equipment Carry Test Wearing full fire kit you will carry various pieces of Fire Service equipment over the length of the course around 2 cones which cover a distance of 25 metres. This test must be completed within 5 minutes 47 seconds.
Equipment Assembly Test You will be given a piece of fire service equipment to assemble and then disassemble, following the instructions provided, within 5 minutes and 8 Seconds.

For applicants who have not done much physical fitness work for sometime, it is recommended that you seek advice from your Doctor before taking part in the assessments. In this way you can assist in looking after your own safety.

The Service considers personal safety very seriously and equipment you will use, during the tests will have been examined, tested and maintained. Applicants should expect to perform tests in controlled and disciplined surroundings.

For applicants who have not done much physical fitness work for sometime, it is recommended that you seek advice from your Doctor before taking part in the assessments. In this way you can assist in looking after your own safety.

The Service considers personal safety very seriously and equipment you will use, during the tests will have been examined, tested and maintained. Applicants should expect to perform tests in controlled and disciplined surroundings.

Further information

Human Resources Department

Telephone: 01743 260 200