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How to become A Firefighter

What does a firefighter do?

As a firefighter, you will be called upon to tackle various emergency situations.

Your problem solving skills and initiative will be vital if you are to act decisively to resolve issues quickly and calmly.

A firefighter will deal with a huge variety of incidents, as well as regularly training to keep up to date with the latest techniques and equipment. The incidents you’ll attend will vary greatly from rescuing people from burning buildings to dealing with chemical spillages and road traffic collisions.  

And it’s not just dealing with emergencies when they happen.

You will also be responsible for educating the community to prevent emergencies happening in the first place.  For example, you’ll help put in place emergency escape procedures for various places from commercial premises to homes and schools.

What do firefighters earn?

A firefighter’s salary will most likely depend on the levels of skill they acquire.

A trainee will earn an average of £23K whereas a fully competent firefighter averages at £30K. A crew manager can earn between £29K to £34K.

What qualifications do I need?

You need to have achieved 9-4 grades in GCSE maths and English language, or work related qualifications. You'll need to provide your qualification certificates as part of the application process.

How do I become a firefighter?

The process of joining the fire and rescue service varies throughout the UK but the principles you need to follow are the same.

The first step is to find out if and when your local fire and rescue service are recruiting.

Joining the fire service is competitive so you’ll need to make sure you are fully aware of the mental and physical tests you’ll need to complete as part of the recruitment process.  There are lots of resources online to help you prepare for the recruitment process and understand more of what to expect.

What key skills do I need to be a firefighter?

When dealing with members of the public, you will need to stay level headed in every scenario. Having a sensitive approach will be required if you’re working with distressed and confused victims.

Here are a few other key attributes you will need to fulfil within your role as a firefighter: Confidence, resilience, adaptability, ability to communicate effectively and integrity.

What are the benefits and challenges of being a firefighter?

Life as a firefighter can be a very tough, emotionally and physically. However, from dedicating your life to protecting others and serving the community it can also be very rewarding.

You will need to dedicate a lot of time towards training and be prepared for the amount of stress and pressure you’ll be put under. But at the end of the day this career will leave you with have a huge sense of fulfilment.


If you think this career is for you, then check out our great selection of firefighter opportunities here