Here are some frequently asked questions about working in Firefighter Control

Is there an age limit?

There is no upper age limit but you must be aged 18 when the training course starts.

Why are we encouraging applications from people from minority ethnic groups and those with disabilities?

At Avon Fire & Rescue Service we think it’s important our workforce is representative of the communities we serve so we are encouraging applications from groups currently under-represented within the workforce. Within our control department, we particularly welcome applications from people from minority ethnic groups and those who have a disability.
At the moment only 3.23 per cent our Control employees are from minority ethnic groups. Only 6.45 per cent of our Control employees are disabled – both well below the averages in our area.

We will be taking additional steps to ensure we raise awareness of the role of a Control Firefighter as a career among under-represented groups as we want the very best people within our Control department. It’s about ensuring the pool of talent we have to choose from is as wide as possible and encouraging people to apply who perhaps never thought a career in the fire and rescue service is for them.

Once an application is made every candidate will be considered on merit, regardless of their background.

I have a medical condition, can I still apply?

Avon Fire and Rescue Service are a disability confident employer, we recognise that the talents of these with disabilities and the valuable and attributes which they can bring to Avon Fire and Rescue Service. However, there are some significant medical conditions which could preclude you from becoming a Firefighter Control.

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

We would encourage you to enquire prior to applying so we can advise whether you are likely to meet the medical criteria. 

However, whilst HR can provide general advice 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 required to complete a health questionnaire and attend a medical. The Occupational Health Doctor will help us determine if you are fit to safely become a Control Firefighter. 

I have a criminal conviction, will this prevent me from applying?

If your criminal conviction is spent then this will not preclude you from applying. If your conviction is not spent we will consider the nature of the conviction and any impact upon employment on a case by case basis. Offences such as drink driving, violence or sexual offences are likely to preclude you from being offered a post. If you wish to discuss your situation in confidence with a member of our HR Team please call us on 0117 9262061.

What shifts do Emergency Control Operators work?

The current shift patterns are normally two days (8am-5pm) followed by two nights (5pm-8am) and then four days off. 

What about hearing standards? 

Your hearing will be assessed during your medical. The following summative measures are used to assign an overall score for each ear (H1, H2, H3, H4 and H5). The worse ear is used for recruitment purposes, with levels H1 and H2 being acceptable. If you have any concerns about your hearing you should check if you are likely to meet the required standards with your GP or arrange a test through a private hearing test provider (eg Boots, Specsavers).

  LF Sum   HF Sum Speech Sum
H1 ≤ 45 dB H ≤ 45 dB HL ≤ 35 dB HL
H2 ≤ 60 dB HL ≤ 80 dB HL ≤ 60 dB HL (no value > 25 dB HL)
H3 ≤ 80 dB HL ≤ 120 dB HL ≤ 90 dB HL (no value > 40 dB HL)
H4 < 120 dB HL ≤ 150 dB HL  ≤ 120 dB HL
H5 > 120 dB HL > 150 dB HL > 120 dB HL

I am dyslexic, will I still be able to apply?

If you are dyslexic you can apply. You must indicate that you are dyslexic where prompted on your application form so that reasonable adjustments can be considered for you. When you reach the technical tests stage you may be provided with extra time to take the tests if this is supported by evidence of your dyslexia which must be from an appropriate Specialist.

How will I know my application is progressing?

You will be informed of your position at each stage of the selection process; this will be by email. Please do not contact us to check your progress as we cannot respond to all queries due to the volume of applications.

How long is the training course?

The training course is 12 weeks in total.

Do I need a driving licence when I apply?

If you do not have a driving licence, there is the expectation that you will gain a driving licence within two years of employment and any offers of employment will be subject to this condition

What should I wear when invited to the assessments?

There is no particular dress code however you will be provided with any specific details when being invited to each assessment.