Firefighters in training

Aspiring firefighters wanted as Avon Fire & Rescue Service opens recruitment

Our communities are being encouraged to consider a new career this winter, as Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) will open for applications in November, searching for the brightest and best wholetime firefighters to join the Service.

The application process will begin mid-November when potential new recruits will be invited to find out more about what it’s like to be a part of the AF&RS team, before undertaking practical tests with the Service’s training school in early 2019.

‘Yes You Can’ is the message being shared with the communities of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset as the recruitment campaign looks to welcome applications from across the diverse area.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Simon Shilton said: “A career in the fire service is exciting, often challenging, always varied and entirely rewarding. 

"We are looking for people who are driven by representing and making a positive difference in their community; who want to be part of an effective and efficient team; and who have the aspirations of becoming a leader of the future.

“The remit of a firefighter in today’s world is much broader than the role played at emergencies. 

"We need people with different skill sets who are passionate about community safety, are committed to prevention and protection and who can act as a role model for our young people. 

"If any of these attributes resonate with you, I look forward to reading your application in the coming months. 

“We have been delighted with the interest we’ve received during our previous recruitment campaigns and we are once again expecting a large number of applications. 

"I am hopeful that they will come from all areas of our diverse community; it’s important the Service reflects the communities we serve and I would encourage people from all backgrounds to find out more and apply.

“If the role of a firefighter is not necessarily for you, we also currently advertising for various Corporate Staff roles. 

"So, why not consider applying to become our next Media and Internal Communications Officer, HR advisor or Health and Safety Officer? 

"We post roles all year round, so keep an eye on our website for future opportunities to join the Avon Fire & Rescue Service family.”

As a wholetime firefighter, you would be responsible for ensuring Avon’s fire stations are crewed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fully qualified firefighters earn £29,000 a year and have the opportunity to look for promotion within the Service.

What do some of AF&RS’ recruits have to say?

Liam Bamford previously worked as a team leader for G4S Cash Solutions and is looking to becoming a first-time dad in the New Year. Liam had applied twice before, both of which were unsuccessful, but his sheer determination meant he eventually did pass the application process. 

Liam, who since passing training has joined White Watch at Temple fire station said: “Joining Avon Fire & Rescue Service has fulfilled one of my lifelong ambitions and I can’t wait to begin progressing my career.”

After getting a law degree, Steph Ford was working in an office when she decided an office-based job wasn’t for her. 

Steph has now been in the Service for six months and is currently based at Yate fire station. 

Speaking about the application process Steph said: “I know that females have struggled in past recruitment phases with strength and fitness, but you’ve got enough time to sort that out. If you are thinking about joining and if you are serious about joining, then just put the work in.”

Watch Manager Paul Kirk joined the Service back in 2000.

Speaking about his time with AF&RS, Paul said: “It was very important for me to start a career where I had the opportunity to progress and in the fire service you can progress up the ranks if you choose to and if you don’t you can stay as a firefighter and take on specialist responsibilities or additional roles. 

"I would say to anyone who was thinking about joining the fire service that it’s a very interesting career, no two days are the same.”

Over the coming months AF&RS will be hosting a number of recruitment awareness events, which are scheduled to take place on the below dates:

Tuesday 30 October at the Malcolm X Centre, Bristol, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Avon Fire & Rescue Service will be promoting recruitment opportunities alongside partner organisations, please come along on the day to find out about opportunities in your city

Saturday 3 November at the City Academy, Bristol, 9.30am – 4pm

The day will offer a ‘try before you apply’ recruitment day where you can find out everything you need to know about the process, the fitness test and the practical assessment. To take full advantage of the conference, you will need to book a ticket online by visiting

19 October – 2 November

AF&RS will be hosting a variety of pop-up stalls across the Avon area and these will these dates will be publicised on the Yes You Can website and across the Services’ Twitter and Facebook accounts.

It’s never too early to think about a career with Avon Fire & Rescue Service.