FAQs for Reserve Firefighters

I am due to undertake selection tests. What are they, what do I need to bring and how can I prepare?

Selection tests are the very first event you will attend with us. They are a range of practical ability tests designed to assess how well you process verbal instructions and undertake practical tasks.

You will be loaned Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the selection tests, and we suggest you bring shower items and a change of clothes.

To prepare, we can provide additional information, but generally your fitness will be an important factor so the information below regarding fitness may be useful for you.

Can I get on more training courses?

The three-day initial training course is compulsory, while the Reserve Firefighter Road Traffic Collision (RTC) and Breathing Apparatus (BA) courses are optional.

This may change over time to align better with firefighter national standards and could mean all Reserve Firefighters are trained in RTC and BA. This page will be updated to reflect any changes.

Can I do all training courses?

There is a requirement to pass fitness for the Reserve Firefighter BA course, so as long as you pass that, you can do the course. The Reserve Firefighter RTC course requires a pass on the equipment assembly test. The fire appliance course requires a current C Class LGV licence.

How can I prepare for fitness testing?

You will know your own level of fitness and already be aware that the role of a firefighter can be demanding. In general, a good level of fitness is required for the Reserve Firefighter role. Fitness includes physical strength, physical endurance, cardiovascular (aerobic/oxygen efficiency) and dexterity (flexibility). You may train to increase performance in each area and include high intensity periods to help develop faster. You should seek advice from a professional fitness trainer if you have questions about your fitness.

How do I know if I should be attending a training course?

You will be contacted by email in the first instance to invite you to a course. If you have replied to confirm your attendance, we will send you joining instructions to confirm the date, time and venue. There will also be information within the joining instructions on dress code and PPE required. Please ensure you have this entered in your own calendar or diary so that you don’t miss the course.

I missed a training event. What do I do now?

It’s really important that you do everything to ensure you don’t miss training courses. However, if for some unforeseen reason you do miss a training course, please contact us by email to let us know your circumstances as soon as possible.

How do I know what training courses are available?

If you have a particular course you wish to attend, please email us and we will let you know what is available.

Do I need to take my PPE to training sessions?

Generally, yes, but please follow the information provided in the joining instructions which would have been emailed to you.

Can I have full firefighting kit instead of boiler suits and hard hats?

Dedicated firefighting PPE is called structural fire kit. At present this is only issued to Reserve Firefighters who are Reserve Firefighter BA and/or Reserve Firefighter RTC trained. This has been appropriately risk assessed around skillsets and operational limitations. This is unlikely to change in the short term for a number of reasons, including cost and supply.

Why do I need an Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) service number?

All staff within AF&RS have a service number. The number is unique to you and helps us process and protect your personal information. Please ensure you are familiar with your service number and have it available when you undertake training courses or when contacting us.

I have been told I need to complete remote eLearning. What is this and how do I access it?

ELearning is a common method of delivering training in AF&RS. If your application to become a Reserve Firefighter has been accepted, you will have been sent log in details for AF&RS eLearning platform, MyLo. Please follow this link: http://avonfire.learningpool.com and use your provided log in details to complete five online learning sessions:

  • Safeguarding
  • Safe Reversing & Marshalling
  • Social Media
  • Values & Behavioural Framework
  • Wellbeing

How do I manage my availability? What are the expectations from AF&RS?

Reserve Firefighters’ availability is mainly required for training and CPD (refresher training), but this will be mutually agreed between you and us. Operational availability is only required during periods of mass staff shortages, and these should be planned in plenty of time for us to mutually agree availability and Reserve Firefighter rostering. That said, we are now considering whether the Reserve Firefighter capability, and individual skills, may be utilised for other Service demands.

If this happens, we will be in touch to work out how availability can be effectively planned.

For information on all career opportunities at AF&RS, you can sign up to receive email updates here.