The recruitment and selection of On Call Firefighters is dependent on the applicant’s either living and/or working close to one of the Services retained fire stations.
All enquiries from prospective recruits should be directed through the Human Resources team and the process is as follows:
|Stage 1||The individual requests an information pack from HR, which includes a Job Description, Personal Qualities and Attributes, Questionnaire, Declaration of availability an application form and an Employers Information Pack.|
|Stage 2||Application forms and questionnaires completed and returned to HR|
|Stage 3||District Officers are responsible for shortlisting; they will review applications and determine suitability for interview|
|Stage 4||The applicants are contacted in writing if they are unsuccessful or successful. If they are successful they are invited for selection tests|
|Stage 5||Applicants attend Telford Central Fire Station for written tests and if they pass these they will then be asked to complete the physical tests|
|Stage 6||Candidates that are successful will have a medical|
|Stage 7||Applicant’s who pass the medical are sent an offer of employment letter|
|Stage 8||Applicant’s are supplied with uniform and may attend drill nights until the start of their training course|
The training commences with the initial training course at Telford Central Fire Station as detailed in the retained recruitment training programme.
- Initial application
The application form provides the Fire and Rescue Service with your personal details such as work history or qualifications. The application questionnaire asks you questions about your suitability for the role of Firefighter e.g. team working.
You will also be asked at the application stage to complete a declaration of any criminal convictions that you have that are unspent (under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974). This information will be considered should you be successful at the interview stage.
Any unspent convictions will be considered on an individual basis, taking into account the circumstances surrounding the offence. If you have a conviction that is now considered spent, this does not have to be declared.
The Fire and Rescue Service is guided by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. This means that anyone who considers they to have a disability can apply. Part of the application form will ask if you have any disabilities and these will be looked into by the Brigade Doctor on an individual basis. A decision will then be made as to whether you would be able to perform the duties of a Firefighter with any reasonable adjustments required.
Applicant’s who meet the essential requirements are invited to the next stage of the selection process.
Selection Testing is carried out on a monthly basis.
- Written Selection Tests
This section consists of different tests which assess the applicant’s ability to process information, problem solve and work with numbers.
- Physical / Practical Tests
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.
You will be asked questions relating to your knowledge, skills and attributes to determine your suitability for the role of a Firefighter.
Ensure that you are well prepared. It will help if you have carried out some research into the Fire and Rescue Service and the post you hope to fill. Turn up on time and in a presentable manner.
References will only be sent for if you are successful at interview, prior to your medical. You will need to supply one personal referee and details of your current or previous employer for references to be obtained.
- Medical checks
You will be examined by the Brigade Medical Adviser (Doctor) who will check out your heart, central nervous system and reflexes.
There may be occasions when we have to obtain more information about your health and may have to write to your G.P. or other specialist. This allows us to get a better picture of your health status before we can make a decision about your ability to perform as a Firefighter.
In line with Data Protection Act 1998, no personal medical details about you will be released from the organisation without your prior written consent. All information will be treated as confidential. In line with the Disability Discrimination Act we will consider making reasonable adjustments to the post.
There are no longer any height restrictions, but your height will be taken to work out your height/weight ratio (Body Mass Index)
Your weight should be within normal limits for your height; however you will not fail on weight alone.
Your visual acuity is required to be 6/9 in both eyes. If your vision is borderline i.e. 6/9, 6/12 we will ask to you to carry out a vocational test to assess whether or not you can perform safely in a safety critical environment. This equates to being able to see the 3rd line up from the bottom or a vision chart (used when you have an eyesight test at an opticians) without glasses or contact lenses.
If you are found to be colour blind, we will send you for more tests to determine if you can work safely in a safety critical environment.
- Cardio-vascular checks
Your blood pressure should fall within normal limits i.e. no more than 150/90. If you are found to have a higher reading we will either refer you for more checks with the occupational health nurse or your G.P. before passing you as fit. We do take into account that people are often anxious at this time.
We carry out the Chester Step test, which requires you to step onto and off a 30cm/12” step (standard gym bench), to determine your fitness level. We expect this to fall into the GOOD category which equates to a V02 max of 45, any good sports centre can test this for you, but if you can comfortably step up and down for 10 minutes you will probably meet the GOOD standard. Applicants do fail this test, it is therefore imperative that you prepare yourself.
We test your lung function to check for any respiratory disease such as asthma, this will allow us to ascertain how well you can cope when working under arduous conditions or when wearing breathing apparatus.
- Urine checks
We will check your urine for your general health status and whether or not you are well at the time of medical.
We will ask you lots of questions about your past and present health. This allows us to get a good overall picture of your health and determine whether or not fire-fighting will make your health worse.
We will consider your safety critical role and whether or not it will interfere with your health and vice versa.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to equality and diversity at work. We positively welcome applications from disabled people and under represented groups. For the health and safety of our employees, we operate a no smoking policy.