The Process

Dealing with the public and remaining calm under extreme levels of pressure are just some of the many personal qualities of a successful firefighter. 

The cost and time involved in training a firefighter is significant and includes elements such as specialist facilities and equipment and time of training instructors, not to mention dedication from each candidate. 

To become a competent Firefighter, you will undergo thorough and intense training designed to equip you with the skills and additional behaviours that will give you the confidence to do the job and develop yourself further. You will need to work hard, study regularly and pass formal assessments. 

There's a well-structured career path, which gives real responsibility at an early stage. From the role of firefighter right up to Chief Fire Officer for the right candidates.

The process for wholetime firefighter recruitment can take some time, it might be up to 18 months on occasion before you begin working on a watch. It consists of the following stages: 

  • Online Registration
  • Online Tests
  • Job related (physical) tests
  • Interview process
  • ​Medical

Due to the high volume of interest in these roles, we regret that it is not possible to provide feedback to applicants following the completion of any stage prior to the interview selection day. 

We are also unable to progress your application if you cannot attend or complete all stages of the process. 

For more general questions about being a Firefighter, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page

Please note, there is a strict timetable for applying and undertaking different stages – an information pack will be issued to candidates during the process and will detail all relevant dates.

These dates are set, cannot be changed and no alternative dates can be offered. 

During this stage you will be required to provide some personal information, and will be issued a unique and secure username and password.

This will store all your candidate information throughout the different stages. Take a look here to understand what sort of qualities are needed for firefighters. You should allow yourself approximately 30 minutes to complete this section. 

Once you have completed stage 1, you will be asked to complete a number of online tests and consider a number of questions about the role of a Firefighter and how it meets your expectations around things like the working environment and future career aspirations. 

You will need to answer a series of eligibility questions - examples include the following:

  • Whether you will be 18 at the commencement of the recruit's course
  • Whether you have the right to work in the UK
  • Whether you have any unspent criminal convictions - Nacro provide some information on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, and this can be found here.
  • Whether you live in one of the following counties: Shropshire, West Midlands, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Wrexham or Powys

If you meet the criteria you will progress to a number of assessments - the Behavioural Styles Questionnaire (BSQ) and Situational Judgement Test (SJT) and once you successfully pass these you will then progress to the ability tests stage which assess numerical and verbal reasoning. 

  • Numerical reasoning measures your ability understand, interpret and evaluate numerical information. You will be presented with graphs, charts and numerical information and will then be required to make calculations based on this information.
  • Verbal reasoning measures your ability to understand and interpret written information. You will be presented with passages of text and will be required to answer a series of questions to demonstrate your ability to interpret and analyse verbal information.

The work of firefighters can often take place in dangerous and unpleasant conditions, for example in both hot and cold climates, at heights, in enclosed spaces, smoke-filled buildings and all kinds of weather conditions.

The role is physically challenging requiring strength, stamina, coordination, dexterity and ability to work at height and within enclosed spaces. Firefighters also carry heavy equipment including breathing apparatus, may be exposed to danger from collapsing buildings or vehicles, explosions and fumes.

As a result, you need to be physically fit for the role and may need to start working on your fitness to meet the standard tests.

Those successful at the online assessment stages will be shortlisted for the Job Related Tests. If you are successful in gaining a place, you will be invited to attend the Service’s Training and Development Centre in Telford.

You will be required to complete six job related tests - or JRTs - that all aim to assess various aspects of your physical fitness. You must successfully pass all parts of the physical tests in order to progress. 

Click here for more details on the JRTs and supporting guidance on the level of fitness required for these tests.

*Please note that testing equipment may vary and the videos are an indication of what candidates can expect but may not mirror exact test conditions.

Those successful at the job related tests will be shortlisted for on online role play exercise and interview. This stage is conducted both in person and over the phone using a national framework to look at things like

  • Personal impact
  • Outstanding leadership
  • Service delivery
  • Organisational effectiveness

Once you have successfully passed the role play, you will then be invited to attend the interview process at the Service’s Headquarters in Shrewsbury. 

During the panel interview, you will be asked a number of questions around your knowledge of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service and the role of a Firefighter amongst a range of other questions.

The medical lasts approximately one and a half hours and you'll meet the Service's team including an occupational health physician, nurse and fitness instructor.
You will be asked to complete a questionnaire covering your medical history and finally, subject to a series of tests including but not limited to:
  • Hearing Test – you will sit in a sound proof booth wearing headphones and will be asked to press a button when you hear a range of sounds.
  • Fitness Test – your level of fitness will be tested and a standard VO2 of 42.3ml/kg/min. Please visit here for further details to learn how to measure your VO2 max and other fitness guidance can be found here 
  • Lung Function – you will be asked to blow hard and long down a hollow tube until all your lung capacity is fully exhaled – a reading is taken and assessed accordingly.
  • General Tests – you will finally see the doctor who will test your reflexes and discuss your medical questionnaire with you.

Upon satisfactory medical results and references, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service will offer new candidates the opportunity to attend a wholetime firefighters training course. 

Please note, allocation for firefighter positions is not a straightforward process of replacement and is based on succession planning - this is the process of identifying and preparing, through mentoring training, education and development the appropriate candidates to replace, as required, key employees within the service.

It takes into account, retirement, skill sets and how many developmental or trainee firefighters are within a watch to ensure a competent set of staff to deal with emergencies safely and effectively.

Applicants will become part of a recruitment pool to fill vacancies expected to arise over the next 12 months.

For this reason, not all positions may immediately be available, candidates may be expected to wait between six and 18 months for a position.

Training courses are eight weeks long.