For emergencies

Become a firefighter

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.

Applications are Currently Closed

We’re not currently recruiting for firefighters. If you’re interested in becoming an firefighter for Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service you can join our talent pool to hear about upcoming recruitment drives.

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.


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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How to become Firefighter fit

Firefighter Fit Guide

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

Working for Buckinghamshire Fire & rescue


Our teams need to reflect the communities they serve, with equitable access to opportunity for everyone.


With access to free on-site gym facilities, professional health advice and mental wellbeing champions, your health is high on the agenda.


We are proud to be making Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes safer places to live, work and travel. There are not many jobs where you can say that!

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