Becoming a Firefighter Control with Avon Fire & Rescue Service generates a significant level of interest. We are not seeking one type of person as the role requires many varied skills. We want to attract applicants who have a range of experience and life skills which they can bring to the role. You must meet the strict criteria below to be eligible to apply.
- You must be aged 18 or over when the training school starts on 17th February 2020
- You must be hold a full UK driving licence and have access to a vehicle
The recruitment process
This section guides you through the recruitment process and timescales involved. The process will be conducted to strict deadlines and no extensions can be given. It is important that you are able to set aside the time required to complete these assessments on the set dates.
Stage 1: Eligibility
Before applying for the role with Avon Fire & Rescue Service as a Firefighter Control, you must:
- Have a full UK driving licence and have access to a vehicle
- Be able to work in the UK without any restrictions
- Be aged 18 or over at the start of the training school on 17th February 2020
Stage 2: Application form
Opening date: 21st October 2019
Closing date: 11th November 2019
The application form comprises of two sections. The first section captures your personal details, while the second section focuses on you and your personal statement. Please ensure that a correct email address is used as all correspondence will be via email.
The first section also requires you to detail your sickness absence levels in the past 12 months. If this exceeds five days you will be asked to provide further details. HR will review the information provided and will make a fair and consistent judgement on whether you pass this section.
Long term absences due to operations, injuries, significant illnesses/medical conditions or life events such as bereavement or divorce will be considered in a positive light and it is likely you will pass the sift stage. Repeated absences over five days in a year due to minor ailments are likely to mean that you will not pass the sickness sift. It is essential that Firefighter Control have good levels of health and wellbeing and a strong work ethic.
Sickness information will be checked at reference stage as part of the job offer process. If it is found that you have not provided accurate information in relation to your sickness levels your application will be automatically rejected and any provisional job offer will be revoked.
You will also be required to declare whether you will be 18 years or above when training school commences on the 17th February 2020. The reason in which the role of Firefighter Control has a minimum age requirement is due to the nature of the role in which the successful candidate will be required to deal with a range of situations of a sensitive nature and also because the successful candidate may need to operate service vehicles and there is an age restriction for insurance purposes.
A driving licence is also essential for this role due to the location of our Control department. As a Firefighter Control, the working pattern includes early mornings and late nights. Our service is a 24 hour service, 365 days a year.
We have found that reliance on public transport has resulted in complications in employees not being able to arrive at work on the required times which impacts the efficiency of the crew. There is also the requirement to work at different service locations in accordance to the service’s needs.
The second section of the application form is the personal statement (up to 1,500 words). In this section we are looking for candidates to demonstrate the core skills required to become a Firefighter Control, these include;
- The ability to work well within a team
- Strong communication skills
- Ability to remain calm under pressure
- Commitment to learn new skills and achieve high standards
- Good problem solver
- Good attention to detail and accuracy
Please note that this is not exhaustive. You must include evidence against each of the above and may also wish to also outline other skills and experience you have which you feel would positively contribute to the role of a Firefighter Control.
It is important to provide examples as evidence. These can be from your current or previous employment, voluntary work, education or non-work related examples. If you make statements such as ‘I have good communication skills’ you will not pass this stage. You must provide an example to evidence this.
The personal statement also requires you to evidence how you meet Avon Fire & Rescue Service values.
We believe it is not just what we do but how we do it that is important. Our values act as the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff. These values can meet different things to different people. We have provided additional information below to define each value to assist and guide you.
Showing consideration for others, treating them how you would wish to be treated and respecting their views, beliefs and opinions even if they differ to your own.
Being honest, truthful, open and trusted by others.
Demonstrating courage in your actions and behaviours, standing up for what is right and having the courage to help and support others even when this may present difficulties.
Being determined to succeed and achieve your best in whatever situation you are faced with, even when things are difficult.
An inclusive workplace values individual and group differences, welcoming people from different backgrounds, considering their needs and treating them appropriately.
This means being clear, open, transparent and honest in your actions and behaviours.
Hints and Tips
We advise that you split your statement into two sections; part one covering skills and experience and part two covering each of the values. You may wish to present your statement using headings or bullet points so each part is clear.
Writing your examples
- Allow yourself plenty of time for your personal statement. We recommend drafting this in a word document ahead of the application stage, which you can then cut and paste into the application form.
- Ensure you include a range of examples and that they highlight the required skills, experience and values. Think about any particularly difficult/demanding/challenging situations you have faced and what skills or values you used.
- The examples do not all have to have a positive outcome. Sometimes we learn most from situations which did not go so well. Do not be afraid to use these if they demonstrate what you learned and what you would do differently.
- Be concise and make full use of the 1,500 words. This is your chance to make your application form really stand out from the rest. A short statement is unlikely to pass.
- Proof read you application form before submitting it. A fresh pair of eyes can help with your application.
- Ask friends, family or colleagues to assist you. This will help ensure you have covered all of the required points and provided the best possible examples. We sometimes undersell ourselves and lack confidence in our abilities. If you seek input from others they may help you think of other positive examples, which show your full range of skills and strengths.
Stage 3: Shortlisting
Date: 11th November 2019 – 15th November 2019
There will be a short delay from 11th November 2019 until 15th November 2019 where you will not hear from us. A member of the HR team will email you by the 18th November 2019 to advise if you have been successful. Please ensure that you check your emails on a regular basis, including your junk/spam folders.
We expect to be extremely busy during this period so we would ask that you do not contact Human Resources for updates. Unfortunately we are unable to provide specific feedback on your application form due to the high volume of applications we receive. We will provide generic feedback in your e-mail.
If you are shortlisted you will be invited to attend an assessment.
We will not advise you of your application form shortlisting score. This will be used at the end of the process, combined with the interview score to enable us to select the top scoring candidates to be offered a place on the Firefighter Control training course.
Stage 4: Assessment Centre
Date: w/c 25th November 2019
If you score sufficiently at shortlisting stage then you will be invited to attend an assessment centre which will be held w/c 25th November 2019.
The assessment centre will comprise of a series of technical tests which are proposed to identify your attention to detail, ability to remain calm under pressure and effective communication skills. They are also designed to identify your literacy and numeracy abilities which are essential for this role.
Tests are as follows:
- Memory re-call
- Typing test
- Numeracy test
- Practical – Radio and Telephony script based test
You will be contacted via email on the 2nd December 2019 in regards to the outcome of your assessment. If you have scored sufficiently, then you will be invited to the next stage of the selection process which is the interview stage.
Stage 5: Interview
Date: w/c 9th December 2019
The interview lasts one hour and will comprise of six set questions which are the same for all candidates. It will be conducted by a panel of two members of our staff. You will be able to book the date and time slot for your interview on our on-line booking system. The link to this will be sent to you.
The interview panel will endeavour to help you relax and enable you to perform your best. They will ask a range of questions to obtain as much information within the hour as possible.
This is your opportunity to provide further details, examples and evidence of your skills, experience and values and how these make you one of the best candidates for the role. You will also be expected to know about the role of a Firefighter Control at Avon Fire & Rescue Service. It is recommended that you review our website and familiarise yourself with the work we do. This will assist you at the interview stage.
This is a competitive process and there are only 4 available positions.
If you score sufficiently we will advise you by e-mail and you will progress to the next stage. We will not advise you of your interview score. This will be used at the end of the process to select the best performing candidates for the limited number of places available on the training course.
Stage 6: Job offer decisions
Date: w/c 16th December 2019
The HR Team will review how many people have passed all stages of the process and which candidates scored highest in the application form shortlisting and interview stages. We will also assess any criminal conviction declarations made by candidates at the start of the process at this stage.
Please do not contact our Human Resources team during this period. You will be contacted directly via e-mail once the final decisions have been made.
The top candidates will be invited to attend a medical with our Occupational Health Nurse. You must pass the medical. If there are any medical queries these will be escalated to our OH Doctor. Their decision is final. If further medical advice is required to confirm your medical fitness for the role this may prevent a job offer being made as we must confirm job offers quickly in order to complete the final stages of checks and uniform fittings in time for the training school start date.
All job offers are made on a conditional basis, subject to receipt of satisfactory references and other pre-employment checks.
Stage 7: Medicals
Dates: 16th, 17th, 23rd December 2019 and 6th and 7th January 2020
Part of the pre-employment checks will include a medical held with our Occupational Health provider, Medigold at Aztec West, Bristol. The purpose of the medical is to ensure that your hearing is within the set standard for this role.
Appointments are limited and are held at set times and dates which will be discussed with you.
Stage 8: Training School
Date: 17th February 2020 for 12 weeks
Training school will commence on 17th February for 12 weeks at Southwest Command and Development Centre, Costwold Way, Lansdown, Bath, BA1 9DB.
Further details will be provided at the job offer stage. Please be aware that you will not be able to take any annual leave during this period for any reason due to the intensity of the training school.