Wholetime FAQ

As wholetime recruitment launches once again, here are some of the top frequently asked questions AF&RS receives. 

I want to know how to apply to become a Firefighter

All the information you need is contained on our website - - and this is updated regularly.

If you sign up to the mailing list you will receive new information as it is published.  We cannot deal with individual queries due to the high volume of interest in our recruitment campaign. 

I do not live within the Service boundary area but I am looking to move if I am successful for the role of Whole-time Firefighter. Can I apply?

The criteria are that all applicants must live within our Service area at the point of application in March 2020.

There are no exceptions and this rule is applied fairly and consistently. Our service area covers Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucester and North Somerset.

If you live on the actual boundary line we will accept your application. Please review our service area map to ensure that you live within the designated area.

It is important that candidates live within our service area as we require our workforce to represent the community in which we serve and to have a detailed knowledge of the area, the risks, road networks etc.

It is essential for our Firefighters have an understanding of their local community as a large proportion of the role includes community engagement. 

If you are successful you could be placed at any Fire Station in the area and you will not have a choice over where you are posted.

We will require evidence that you live within our service boundary from the point of application (driving licence and a dated utility or Council Tax/rent bill).

If it is found that you do not live within our service area then you will be automatically disqualified from continuing in the selection process.

I do not currently have a driving licence but I am hoping that I will have one once training school commences. Can I still apply?

No. We require all candidates to possess a Full UK Driving Licence from the point of application in March 2020.

Firefighters are required to work at any Station within our Service area.

You must have a driving licence and access to a vehicle to meet these necessary requirements.

Firefighters provide cover over 365 days and nights, including weekends and bank holidays and reliance upon public transport is not feasible. 

We do not accept individuals who only possess a Motorcycle Licence as this can be problematic when transporting Firefighter kit.

We will accept a maximum of three points on your driving licence.  We will conduct checks on your licence with the DVLA if you are offered a position. 

You must provide honest and accurate information on your initial application.  If you have more than 3 points your application or job offer will be automatically withdrawn. 

I am 18 years old just after training school commences, can I apply?

Our training school commences on 28 September 2020. If you are not 18 or over you cannot be appointed.  This is a mandatory health & safety requirement due to the operational nature of this role. 

I have a medical condition. Will this preclude me from applying?

We employ Firefighters who have medical conditions. However, there are some significant medical conditions which might preclude you from becoming a Firefighter. 

If you wish to discuss this confidentially please contact one of our HR Team by e-mail or phone on 01179 262061.

You should do this prior to applying so we can advise in advance whether you are likely to meet the occupational medical standards.

Some conditions such as asthma may preclude you if your symptoms are triggered by exercise or environmental factors.

In addition, hearing loss or eyesight issues, including colour vision are likely to preclude you from being a firefighter.

HR can provide general advice but the final decision can only be made by a Doctor at the medical stage of the selection process.

If you pass all stages of the selection process you will be invited to complete a health questionnaire and attend a medical.

The Occupational Health Doctor or Nurse will help us determine if you are fit to safely become a Firefighter.

When are the dates for each selection stage?

Please refer to our website for details of each selection stage:

Some dates are subject to alter slightly depending upon candidate numbers.  You must be able to attend each stage of the process and we cannot offer alternative dates. 

Can I have feedback in regards to my application?

Due to the significant number of applications received (normally in excess of 800) we are unable to provide individual feedback to candidates. 

If I apply for the role of On-Call Firefighter, Control Firefighter or a role within Corporate Staff, can I easily progress into the role of Wholetime Firefighter?

Employment within any other role at Avon Fire and Rescue Service does not lead to an easy transition to the role of Wholetime Firefighter.

Our On-Call Firefighters play a critical role in providing resilience to their local community. 

They work flexibly around other work and family commitment whilst still being an important part of Avon Fire and Rescue Service by responding to calls when needed. 

There is no clear pathway for transferring to Wholetime. A small number of opportunities arise every few years and Competent On-Call Firefighters from Avon Fire and Rescue Service will need to undertake a highly competitive recruitment process to secure a post. This does not occur on a regular basis.

Roles within our Control department and Corporate Staff require an entirely different skillsets for the according to roles.

If internal candidates from these areas are interested within the role of Wholetime Firefighter then they would need to go through the external recruitment process and follow the same stages as any Wholetime Firefighter.

I have passed all of the selection tests and Occupational Health Assessment.  When should I resign from my current employer?

Human Resources will not provide advice as to when you should resign from your current employer. 

Appointment decisions will be made by the start of August so you will have at least 6 weeks to submit your notice and will need to manage this with your current employer once you have received your conditional offer.

I have received an injury ahead of attending training school. Will this impact my offer?

It is essential that you are fit and well enough to attend every day of training school. 

If you become unwell or injured prior to or during training school and cannot attend the lectures and physical aspects of the course then your job offer is highly likely to be withdrawn.