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Becoming a Firefighter

Becoming a Firefighter

How do we select and train people to become one of our Wholetime Firefighters?

If you need more, becoming a Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service Wholetime Firefigher can offer you a rewarding, exciting and varied career. Our crews respond to any type of major and minor incident: road, rail or air crashes, floods, chemical spills, fires or rescuing people trapped in confined spaces.

When they are not answering the call for help they play an active role in the community through safety advice events, education activities and campaigns. As well as being physically fit enough to pull ladders, run hoses and wear breathing apparatus they need a range of personal skills such as understanding, reliability, flexibility and the ability to work as a team.

There are 3 stages to becoming fully qualified Wholetime Firefighter.  From our vigorous recruitment process, spending eight weeks at the Firefighters training college to completing your Firefighters apprenticeship. We will be there to support you every step of the way!

Our On-Call Firefighter selection and training process is slightly different, for more info on becoming an On-Call Firefighter please click here.

Phase 1, The recruitment process

There are some basic eligibility criteria you must meet before you can apply to become a Firefighter. You must be;

  • At least 18 years old by end of September 2022
  • Hold a full UK driving license (must have passed test by completion of application)
  • Live within 20 miles of the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes border
  • Have Level 2 Functional Skills or GCSE’s in Maths and English Language A* – C (9 – 4) Proof of Certificates held will need to be provided. Please ensure you’re able to provide these. Statements of Results will not be accepted
  • A confident swimmer

We also look for candidates who have

  • A ‘Can Do’ attitude
  • A keen interest in the Fire and Rescue Services
  • A willingness to learn
  • The confidence to communicate effectively with a range of people
  • The skills to work in a team environment
  • The drive to achieve a good level of physical fitness
  • The ability to follow instructions
  • The ability to think about the bigger picture in a dynamic and challenging environment

There are seven steps to our recruitment process. You must pass each stage before moving on to the next.

Seven step recruitment process

  • Online application link
  • Online Psychometric testing
  • Behaviour & Bleep test
  • Role Related Tests
  • Interview & presentation
  • Medicals, Eyesight checks
  • DBS checks, references, kit fitting

Phase 2, Firefighter’s training college

Now you have been formally offered a position with us, it’s time to start your training.

During this phase, the rate of pay is £25,884 annual salary (£11.82 basic hourly rate).
The residential training course runs for eight weeks, Monday through to Friday at The Fire Service College in Moreton in March. Food and accommodation are provided on site.

During this training you will get to learn many of the basic skills needed to be a Firefighter and build your confidence so you can start your apprenticeship with an active Wholetime crew.

Phase 3, The Apprenticeship

Once you have completed the residential training course you are ready to start your Firefighter apprenticeship.

During this development phase (from the end of training until the end of the apprenticeship) the rate of pay is £26,962 annual salary

You will work within a Wholetime crew and follow their shift pattern. This could be days, nights, weekends and bank holidays.

We continually review our duty systems, and these shift patterns may change. When considering placement of our apprentices we consider where we need to fill vacancies, and the skills of all new employees.

What assessments take place during the apprenticeship?

The qualification achieved through the two-year apprenticeship period is a Level 3 Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship. To support this qualification, each apprentice will be assessed throughout their apprenticeship by:

  • On the job observations
  • Written assessments
  • Evidence of your duties/tasks performed
  • Reports from mentors and managers
  • Production of an e-portfolio of evidence
  • End point assessment

What happens after the apprenticeship?

At the end of the two-year apprenticeship scheme, we will work closely with you to identify the next training steps.

Once you become a competent Firefighter your rate of pay will increase to £34,501 annual salary.

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