Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a certain height / weight to apply? 

No. This is a popular misconception as there used to be restrictions but this is now no longer the case.  
Candidates will be expected to pass strength and fitness tests as part of the recruitment process and these are at a level achievable for both men and women of all different sizes and builds. 

What is the minimum / maximum age range to apply? 

Applicants will need to be 18 at the time of the recruits course. There is no maximum age limit. 

I have a beard for religious reasons, will I have to shave it off in order to be a firefighter? 

Unfortunately yes. The Service respects everyone’s religious beliefs but there are health and safety reasons as to why facial hair cannot be accepted. 
As a firefighter you will be required to wear a facemask as part of breathing apparatus. To ensure that the facemask forms an airtight seal around the face, it is necessary to keep the face shaven to prevent any dangerous airborne chemicals entering the facemask. 

I wear glasses / have had laser eye surgery, can I still apply? 

Yes. Part of the recruitment process will include a medical and this will include an eye test.
Our Occupational Health Physician will determine whether your vision meets the standards to become a firefighter.  

I have a disability, can I apply? 

Yes, anyone who considers themselves to have a disability can apply to join the fire service.

You will be asked if you have a disability as part of the recruitment process and to provide details of any adjustments that you may require to take part in the selection process and to fulfil the role of a firefighter. Each case will be considered on an individual basis and if reasonable adjustments can be made, your application will proceed.

Do the written tests have to be done online?

Yes, all the written assessments have to be completed online. We are unable to offer hard copies of the tests.

Can I use my mobile phone / tablet to apply?

The system is not suitable to be used on a mobile phone.  

For other devices, you need to make sure you have the minimum internet browser requirements. These are: 

  • Internet Explorer 10 and above 
  • Firefox 52.0 and above (PC), 48.0 and above (Mac) 
  • Google Chrome 49 and above 
  • Safari 10 and above (Mac) 

Your browser should also have JavaScript and Cookies enabled. You can refer to the Help section of your browser for guidance about these settings. 

The website is designed to be viewed with a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768 pixels. You can check this by viewing your monitor’s settings. 

Do I need to live in a certain area to be able to apply?

Yes. You will need to live in the following areas to be eligible to apply: 
Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Cheshire, Wrexham and Powys 

How fit do you have to be to become a firefighter?

You do need a good level of fitness to be able to pass the practical selection assessments and fitness test. More information about fitness levels can be found here

Shropshire Fire and rescue does not currently use the bllep test to asses fitness. Instead a measure of VO2 is used to gague fitness, it's the maximum ability of your body to take oxygen from the air and pump it via your heart to your muscles. You can read more about this here.

What qualifications do I need to become a firefighter?

There are no qualifications required to apply for the role of a firefighter. However, candidates will be required to pass the verbal and numerical reasoning tests within the process.

I’m dyslexic, will I be able to cope with the written tests? 

Dyslexia is classed as a disability and you will be asked if you have a disability as part of the recruitment process. 
If you have dyslexia, you will need to provide proof such as a report, letter from your GP or a letter from college and forward it to us before you undertake the timed written tests.
You will then be allocated extra time to undertake the written tests.

Is there a requirement for a driving licence?

A full driving licence is desirable but not essential if you want to join Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Is it okay to have a tattoo or body piercing?

In the interests of health and safety, all piercings and jewellery must be removed or taped over before starting operational duty.
Tattoos are acceptable providing they are not deemed to be offensive.
Tattoos will automatically be unacceptable if they are rude, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic or violent.

Will having a criminal record prevent me from applying? 

Not necessarily. You only need to declare unspent convictions. Further guidance is available from the Criminal Record Support Service
If you are unsure whether your conviction is spent, please take separate legal advice. 

I wasn’t able to attend a taster session, will this affect my application? 

No. Attendance, or non-attendance, at a taster session in no way affects your ability to apply in the campaign. 

Can I choose which Station to work at? 

Unfortunately no. Candidates will be placed at stations where there are vacancies. 

Can I have a second job? 

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has a policy on secondary employment. Employees cannot engage in this without first obtaining written approval.

What is the salary? 

All firefighters are employed on Trainee rate of pay. Upon completion of their initial training they move onto Development rate of pay until they complete their qualification, at which point they are moved onto Competent rate of pay.

Firefighters are paid in line with NJC pay scales. If you are employed under a job share scheme, these salaries will be pro rata.

What are the hours of work? 

You will work 42 hours per week. Day shifts start at 08:30 and end at 18:30. Night shifts start at 18:30 and end at 08:30. 

What is the shift system? 

The rota system for Wholetime firefighters is the Flexible Rostering system. Firefighters work 2 day shifts and 2 nights consecutively and have the ability to roster on and off for a maximum of 8 occasions, dependant on staffing levels.

If you are employed under a job share scheme you will work 1 day and 1 night consecutively and have the ability to roster on and off for a maximum of 4 occasions, dependant on staffing levels.

I see that you are considering job shares, what does that mean? 

If you are employed under the job share scheme, you will work 1 day and 1 night shift, as opposed to a full time member of staff who will work 2 days and 2 night shifts.  
Your salary will also be pro rata. 

What do the different coloured Watches mean? 

Operational staff at each station are split into shifts called ‘Watches’. There are 4 Watches with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, Blue, Green, Red and White.

The reason for the four Watches is so the Service can provide continual service 24 hours a day.