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Becoming a Firefighter

– here’s what we’re looking for

Firefighters act as an integral part of both emergency response and community safety by working within the community to prevent emergencies occurring, minimising the impact when they do, and intervening effectively when required to the benefit of that community and within a safe working environment. 
There is much more to the job of a firefighter than putting out fires! Firefighters attend a wide range of incidents including car accidents, chemical spills and, yes, even rescuing pets. 
Firefighters also visit homes and community groups in order to advise and educate people about minimising the risks of fire. 
With such a varied job, firefighters need a combination of physical strength and stamina, intelligence, bravery, strength of character and compassion. 
The Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service operates an Equal Opportunities policy and welcomes applications from all regardless of race, religion, colour, gender or sexual orientation. 

Firefighter Training

The training is intense and thorough and includes theoretical lectures as well as plenty of practical exercises. There are many examinations that must be passed on the way to becoming a firefighter.  
On successful completion of the Phase 1 training course individuals will progress to Phase 2 and be issued with a Phase 2 Development Firefighter portfolio, which covers all elements within the Firefighter role map. 
At this stage of your career regular assessments will be taken by the individual as they move towards the role of the competent Firefighter. This should be achieved within 24 months of joining the Service, and should not take any longer than 36 months.
After all applicable functions have been assessed and achieved,  the employee will have demonstrated ‘competent’ in his or her role and will receive the appropriate rate of pay. 
All training is designed to give you the confidence when doing the job and to to develop your skills. You will need to work hard, do regular study and pass formal assessments on each module of the course. Throughout the programme, you will be given a high level of support from Training Officers who are there to bring out your potential and guide you to success.
At Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service we value our people and believe in developing them to their maximum potential. Many of our Senior Officers started out as firefighters. 

Recruitment

To find out all about the recruitment process, please use the following link:

The Role of a Whole-time Firefighter

Please use the links below to find out more about the role of a firefighter:

The recruitment and selection process (new window, PDF 1153KB)

The Role of an On-Call Firefighter

Please use the link below to find out more about the role of an on-call firefighter:

Could You Be a Firefighter

Contact / Application mechanism

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is a top priority for the Service. We famously have a progressive culture of supporting under-represented groups both in our workforce and in local communities. Our culture is driven from the top of our organisating and permeates every level; including a staff engagement forum consulting directly with the Chief, as well as regular staff engagement surveys.

We are proud to be both the top performing emergency service and top performing public sector employer. We are also the third top performing employer on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, which measures how LGBT inclusive we are. here We’re also a Disability Confident employer.

Not only do we have internal staff networks, including FirePride and FirePride Allies (for LGBT+ staff and supporters respectively) and Limitless (for women); but we also work at a national level with Women in the Fire Service and the Asian Fire Service Association.

We also have in place strong mental health support, and have just appointed a dedicated Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisor.

Positive Action in Recruitment

We are committed to diversifying our workforce through recruiting more firefighters from under-represented groups. There is a simple and straightforward benefit in our actions that have a positive effect on the service itself, as well as the communities we serve.

  • As a public sector organisation we can better serve our diverse communities if our workforce reflects these communities internally
  • Diverse teams offer a variety of viewpoints and a wider range of experience, which improves decision-making and problem-solving
  • Staff perform better and retention rates are higher in organisations that value diversity and are committed to employees’ well being.

It’s important to emphasise that all recruitment decisions will be based on merit and not background.All applicants who join us will have reached the same standards and have the same potential to succeed. Positive action is simply about ensuring we can recruit talented individuals from all sections of our communities

Buddying Scheme

Right from the very start we’re with you every step of the way.

As part of our programme of positive action we have a unique Buddying Scheme that is here to provide advice, support and insight where anyone interested in applying can talk to one of our firefighters about any aspect of the Service.

It’s open to all potential recruits, although it’s primarily intended to support female applicants.  Questions may cover issues such as the application form, recruitment tests as well as the day to day work of a firefighter.

If you would be interested in being assigned a ‘Buddy’, then please provide your email address with your name, contact details and home address to: buddying@cheshirefire.gov.uk

Upon receipt of an email, you will be contacted by one of our current female operational firefighters who have volunteered to support applicants throughout the selection process.

Please note this is an informal arrangement and your Buddy will not be in a position to provide you with any feedback in the event that you are unsuccessful at any stage.