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Firefighter Recruitment

The role of today’s Firefighter

What do you imagine when you think of a Firefighter?

The traditional image is perhaps of a Firefighter turning out in a fire engine with blue lights flashing and sirens wailing, heading to rescue people from a burning building.

Whilst this is still a small part of what we do, the demands of our fire service have changed considerably in recent times and the role and requirements of our Firefighters has changed too.

The types of emergencies we attend are more varied- road traffic collisions, people who are trapped, floods and storms, chemical spillages and the growing threat of terrorism are just some of what we are now trained to respond to. Thankfully, overall the number of incidents we attend is decreasing.

Our service is focusing more and more on prevention and protection work so that we can continue to reduce the number and impact of incidents in South Yorkshire. A major part of a Firefighter’s role is in contributing to this.

Our Firefighters spend a lot of their time out in the community delivering fire prevention advice and other safety messages. They visit people’s homes and talk to people about how they can plan to avoid and survive a fire if it occurs. This involves conducting home fire safety checks and fitting smoke alarms. They also deliver presentations and talks to school children, community groups and voluntary groups to educate and promote fire safety awareness.

South Yorkshire communities are diverse and we are working hard to meet their differing needs through the services we provide. Our Firefighters must be able to communicate effectively with varied individuals and groups- from older people, young adults and school children to religious groups and people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Treating people with dignity and respect is at the heart of what we do.

What will be expected from me as a Firefighter?

  • to maintain an appropriate level of physical fitness
  • to maintain the skills you need to do the job by attending training sessions
  • to undertake a development programme to demonstrate competence in your role as a Firefighter

What are the duties and responsibilities of a Firefighter?

  • Educate your community in how to stay safe
  • Save and preserve lives in danger
  • Take responsibility for effective performance
  • Resolve emergency incidents as effectively as possible
  • Protect the environment from the effects of hazardous materials
  • Support the development of colleagues in the workplace
  • Contribute to safety solutions to minimise risks to your community
  • Drive, manoeuvre and redeploy fire service vehicles and equipment

Could I be a Firefighter?

As an Equal Opportunities employer; we actively encourage interest from all sections of the community and positively welcome applications from women, people with disabilities and members of black and minority ethnic groups who are currently under-represented in our workforce.

To be considered for a Wholetime Firefighter position in SYFR, you must:

  • be eligible to work in the United Kingdom
  • be 18 years of age by the time your training course starts
  • live within our service boundary (South Yorkshire – see map below)
  • have a basic swimming ability and water confidence which will enable you to operate safely in water rescue situations
  • be physically fit to meet the requirements of the role and medical examination
  • be able to demonstrate reading, writing and numerical skills to meet the requirements of the role
  • You must also be committed to maintaining and developing new skills, and studying on top of your normal working days.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue boundary map
(NB if you save this map to your device you will be able to zoom in to view the boundary more clearly)

Types of Firefighter Roles

SYFR have two types of Firefighter roles; Wholetime Firefighters and On-call Firefighters.

Wholetime Firefighter – this is a full time role and for the majority of these Firefighters this will be their primary occupation. Wholetime Firefighters are required to work days, nights, evenings, weekends and public holidays on one of three duty systems. Details of these duty systems can be found in the Wholetime Firefighter Candidate Information Pack.

On-call Firefighter – this is a part-time role open to those who live and/or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station. With the exception of training sessions and pre-arranged duties, On-call Firefighters only attend their fire station when they receive an emergency call out via a pocket alerter. These Firefighters often have other occupations but commit to being on-call at certain times when they are able to drop whatever they are doing and get to their fire station within 5 minutes.

Further details and information on each of the SYFR Firefighter roles can be found within the Wholetime and On-call Candidate Information Packs.

What you can expect from us

Being a Firefighter is an interesting, varied and fulfilling career. In addition to safety critical training we can offer a wide range of specialist and general training opportunities to contribute to your personal development and career aspirations.

Details of pay and other terms of employment can be found within the Wholetime and On-call Candidate Information Packs.

Recruitment Stages

To become a Firefighter you will have to undertake a series of tests designed to assess your suitability for the role.

The first stages are designed to make an initial assessment of your potential to work as a firefighter using a range of specifically designed questions which examine the qualities and basic knowledge you need for the role. Firefighter recruitment is always a competitive process, with an extremely high number of applicants competing for a small number of roles, so we can only take the highest performing individuals at each part of the selection process on to the next stage.

Stage 1 – Pre-checklist
Stage 2 – Psychometric Tests
Stage 3 – Declaration of Criminal Convictions & Fitness Declaration and Consent
Stage 4 – Practical Selection Tests
Stage 5 – Interview
Stage 6 – Swimming Test
Stage 7 – Medical, References, Employment Checks, Basic Disclosure & Kit Measurements
Stage 8 – Kitting out and Bleep Test

Candidate information pack

Information pack for online stages of wholetime recruitment

Induction & Initial Training Course

Once a formal offer of employment has been offered and accepted, you will be invited to attend an Induction followed by an Initial Training Course (ITC). The duration of the ITC differs depending on the type of Firefighter role.

The ITC is physically demanding and requires good levels of stamina and upper body strength. You must ensure you maintain the required fitness levels to safely participate in the ITC.

The ITC will be held at our Training and Development Centre (TDC) in Handsworth and will cover the safety critical training needed to enable you to be safe to ride a fire appliance. Due to the duration and intense nature of the training, the course is residential and on-site accommodation is provided.

Useful Resources

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition preparation guide
Frequently Asked Questions

Current Vacancies

For details of our current vacancies and how to apply please click here.

This content was last updated on November 09th, 2017