For emergencies

Becoming a wholetime Firefighter

A rewarding, exciting and varied career awaits!

Wholetime firefighters

If you would relish the opportunity of working for an innovative, forward thinking, progressive fire and rescue service, that encourages developing a range of skills to help serve the community, then we would love to hear from you!

As well as being physically fit enough to pull ladders, run hoses and wear breathing apparatus, our firefighters need a range of personal skills such as understanding, reliability, flexibility, and the ability to work as a team.

Our Wholetime Firefighters work various shift patterns, these currently include days, nights, and weekends.

All the information you need before your application

As well as being physically fit enough to pull ladders, run hoses and wear breathing apparatus, our firefighters need a range of personal skills such as understanding, reliability, flexibility, and the ability to work as a team.

Our Wholetime Firefighters work various shift patterns, these currently include days, nights, and weekends.

To apply to become a wholetime firefighter you must: 

  • Be at least 18-years-old by the start date (there is no upper age limit). 
  • Hold a UK/EU citizen or a permanent resident of the UK without any work restrictions. 
  • Hold a full UK or EU (European Union) manual driving licence.
  • Have GCSEs in Maths and English Language A* – C (9 – 4) or Level 2 Functional Skills (basic and key skills builder function) BKSB. Proof of Certificates held will need be required to complete your application. 
  • Live within 20 miles of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Border. 
  • Free from any unspent criminal convictions. 

Also be

  • Willing to get an LGV driving license within 18 months of joining. 
  • Prepared to be clean shaven, so you can safely wear breathing apparatus while fighting fires. 
  • A confident swimmer.

What else you will bring 

Other than good fitness levels, the diverse role of a firefighter means we are looking for people with the following skills and personal qualities: 

  • A can-do attitude. 
  • A keen interest in the fire and rescue service. 
  • A willingness to learn. 
  • Excellent communication skills, with the confidence to communicate with a range of people. 
  • Collaborative working in a team environment. 
  • Ability 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. 

The salary we offer is in line with national pay scales at the time of this advert:

  • Basic annual wage for a trainee firefighter is £27,187 during the initial basic training.
  • This rises to £28,310 (annual wage) for a development firefighter. This continues until the end of the development programme.
  • Once competent the firefighter role attracts a salary of £36,226 (rising to £41,660 for those working on our flexi-firefighter duty system).

We run a flexible and sustainable workforce that maximizes the contribution of all employees to changing service needs. All successful candidates can enhance earning potential through extra shifts.

Other benefits

  • Full time
  • Permanent contract
  • 42-hour week
  • Firefighter Pension Scheme
  • Good annual leave entitlement
  • Employee benefits
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Occupational Health
  • Free onsite parking
  • Onsite gym facilities

Three phases to becoming a fully qualified Firefighter

Complete the recruitment process

This includes

  • Online application link
  • Online Psychometric testing
  • Behaviour workshop & Chester Treadmill test
  • Role related tests
  • Interview & presentation
  • Medicals, Eyesight checks, DBS checks, references, kit fitting

Attend Firefighter’s training college

Now you have been formally offered a position with us, it’s time to start your training. The residential training course runs for eight weeks, Monday through to Friday at The Fire Service College in Moreton in Marsh. 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.

Complete your Firefighters apprenticeship

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

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.

If you’re successful with your initial application, you will be required to attend the events listed below:

Event  Dates


(you will only need to attend one date)

Behaviour workshop &

Chester Treadmill test

6 & 8 December 2023

Role related tests

10/ 11 & 12 January 2024

Interview and presentation

w/c 22 January 2024
Medical/DBS check
w/c 19 February 2024
Kit fitting
w/c 11 March 2024

Take a look at our Firefighter fit guide and role related test video’s. It is never to early to work on your fitness ready for the role related tests.

Abatement and protected pension: If you are in receipt of a firefighter’s pension, before taking up employment with us, you are required to notify Human Resources as Abatement Rules may apply.

Applications are Currently Closed

We’re not currently recruiting for wholetime or on-call 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.

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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