How to Become a Firefighter!
Firefighting is a highly responsible role in that it involves protecting the public against dangerous fires and advising them on how best to guard themselves against the risk of fire. If you have, do you know what avenues to go down in order to become one?
The first option available to you is to take a college course. This will usually be a Level 2 or Level 3 Diploma in Public Services. From here, you can apply to the fire service for a position. For a Level 2 course, you will need at least two GCSEs between Grades A*-D or the equivalent, while a Level 3 course will require four or five GCSEs between Grades A*-C. Please note that a college course is not a requirement for joining the fire service.
The second option is an advanced apprenticeship with your local fire department. You will need to be already employed by the fire service to qualify for this and to have GCSEs in English and Maths graded between A* to C or an equivalent.
Volunteering is another way of becoming a firefighter. You may be handling emergency calls and assisting on fire safety courses. Volunteering is an excellent way of gaining an insight into how the fire service operates as well as giving you access to internal vacancies, giving you the opportunity to apply for them once you have gained the relevant experience.
Finally, you can apply directly to the fire service. Each department will have its own entry requirements, although generally they will ask for GCSEs in English and Maths at grades A*-C or equivalent qualifications as minimum requirements. You will be required to sit a test to determine your ability to make judgements in realistic scenarios as well as tests on reading and numbers. If you are successful at this stage, you will undergo practical selection tests to test your physicality and be required to undergo an interview.
A good way to prepare for applying for a role in the fire service is to carry out a Level 2 Certificate in Fire and Rescue Services in the Community. This is run by fire services and aimed at those who have responsibility for fire safety, including housing wardens and fire prevention officers.
Most fire services recruit every twelve months or thereabouts, so it will be useful to find out when your local service is next recruiting. In the meantime, you can request a careers and recruitment pack from your local service.
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