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A rewarding, exciting and varied career awaits!

Is becoming a firefighter

right for you?

Not just a job! Take a closer look at what it’s like to be firefighter and get an idea of the fulfilling career on offer.

Ways you can join our

firefighting team

Whether you want to become a firefighter full-time, in your spare time, or are looking to transfer from another service, we have routes into the service that will suit you.


OnCall Firefighters

Our selection process

Whether you are applying for wholetime or on-call there are six standard steps to our firefighter selection process. You must pass each step before moving to the next – but don’t worry, we are here to help you be as ready as you can be.


Psychometric testing

The role of a firefighter can be challenging, with the potential for exposure to some stressful situations. The results of this online test show personality traits and cognitive abilities which helps us see if the role is likely to be a good fit for you 


Behaviour group assessment

As a group you will complete a task. This shows us how you work in a team environment and demonstrates your communication and people skills. It also helps us to see how you follow instructions and voice your ideas.


Chester Treadmill Test

The Chester Treadmill Test is a 12 minute graded, treadmill walk test designed to assess whether or not a candidate can achieve the firefighter fitness standard of 42mls O2/kg/min.


Role related tests

Three strength tests, which involve different muscle groups, need to be passed:

  • Equipment Grip and Carry
  • Ladder Haul-Aloft
  • Push-Pull

Watch the role related videos below to find out more about these tests.


Presentation and interview

This is your opportunity to really shine and helps us get to know you better. Show off your presentation skills and impress us in a competency-based interview. You will have time to prepare your presentation in advance, just have it ready to deliver on the day!


Medical, eyesight and DBS checks

You will be required to pass a medical, eyesight test and disclosure and barring service (DBS) check before you complete the selection process and are invited to move onto kit fitting.

Fitness Tests

Make sure you are firefighter-fit in preparation for your role related tests. Below are the types of role related tests we will ask you to complete.

Confined Space Test

In this test we will look at how confident and agile you are, working with limited vision and within tight spaces.

Wearing a breathing apparatus set with a disconnected face mask, you will be required to navigate a rope guided course with your vision obscured. The course may include negotiating doors, steps, and other obstructions. You may also have to progress through small openings, tunnels, and other restricted spaces. You will be supported by one of our recruitment team to ensure your safety.

This helps us to identify if you have any claustrophobic tendencies.

Ladder Climb

In this test we will look at how confident you are at climbing ladders and your co-ordination when working at hight. It also demonists your ability to follow instructions. As a Firefighter you may need to work at heights up to 32 metres.

While in full PPE and attached to a safety line you’ll be required to climb a 13.5m (45 foot) ladder to a specific point. Around two-thirds of the full working height, take a leg lock, remove your hands from the ladder, look down to the assessor below where you will be asked to identify a set of letters, numbers, or symbols.

Ladder Lift

This is a test of your upper and lower body strength and coordination.

You’ll need to raise the ladder lift simulator bar above your head to a height of 190cm (6 foot 2 inches) and lower it safely under control. The bar assembly weighs 15kg, on the first lift an addition 5kg will be added. On the second lift a further 10kg will be added making the lift a total weight of 30kg.

Ladder Extension

This test combines upper body strength, grip and co-ordination.

You’ll need to extend a 10.5 ladder by six rounds and trigger the safety lock.

Top Tips: Grasp the line with two hands at a high level, bending the knees slightly and looking forward, not up. Use a “hand over hand” technique to extend the ladder.

Equipment assembly

This tests your ability to follow a set of written instructions and your manual dexterity.

You’ll have 6 minutes to assemble and disassemble a piece of equipment following a set of written instructions.

Equipment carry

This tests your aerobic fitness, stamina, upper and lower body strength, and coordination.

You’ll need to carry the equipment over a 25-metre course within 6 minutes. However, you will be encouraged by your instructors to push yourself to achieve your best time.

The course will include a combination of shuttle runs, hose reel run, hose reel carry, hard suction basket strainer carry, 25kg barbell pick up and carry and a 55kg casualty drag.

This is not a test of memory as the safety officer will remind you of the sequence of events.

How to become Firefighter fit

Download our handy guide to help you prepare for our fitness tests.

Frequently asked questions

What is the fitness test for Wholetime Firefighters?

As part of our Wholetime Firefighters fitness tests you will be required to complete the Bleep Test to a level 8.6, as well as the completion of 3 strength tests. These include Equipment Grip and Carry (testing aerobic endurance and grip), Ladder Haul-Aloft (testing upper body strength) and a Push-Pull test. If you are considering applying, it is advisable that you start working on your fitness and strength in advance. If you are successful at the early stages of the process, you will then be ready for the fitness test. It is also important that you maintain your fitness.

I have a disability – can I apply for a Support Staff role?

Yes you can. We welcome all applications. As part of the recruitment process, you will be asked if you have a disability, and asked to give details of the type of adjustments you may require in order to take part in the selection process and to fulfil the role you are applying for, should you be successful. Each case will be considered on an individual basis and, where reasonable adjustments can be made, your application will be progressed.

How do I apply to be a Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service On-Call Firefighter?

At stage two of the recruitment process you will be given a link to our online application form. This happens after you have attended one of our On-Call awareness evenings. You can sign up for an awareness evening here.

What stations are recruiting On-Call Firefighters?

You can find out which On-Call fire stations are recruiting by clicking here.

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