Becoming an On-Call firefighter with Avon Fire & Rescue Service is a really valuable choice of career and one which will benefit both you and your community; however there are some criteria which we ask for:
- You must live and/or work within five minutes of your local On-Call Fire Station (situated in Bath, Blagdon, Chew Magna, Clevedon, Nailsea, Paulton, Pill, Portishead, Radstock, Thornbury, Weston-super-Mare, Winscombe, Yate, and Yatton).
- You must be aged 18 or over when firefighter training starts.
- You must be physically fit, and have good upper body strength, hearing and eyesight.
- You must be offering the level of cover your local On-Call fire station requires.
- You must have GCSEs grade A-C in Maths and English or equivalent or be prepared to undertake Maths and English tests as part of the selection process.
Before applying it is important to consider your current occupation (your primary employment), particularly if this involves driving duties. Please read about driving and the EU Drivers Hours and Tachograph Rules for Goods Vehicles which may apply to you. All applicants are required to complete a driving questionnaire as part of their application.
Drivers hours’ and tachograph rules
Please read the following important information about the EU Drivers’ Hours and Tachograph Rules for Goods Vehicles (Regulation 561/2006) which might affect you if you are applying for the role of On-Call firefighter.
The EU Drivers' Hours and Tachograph Rules for Goods Vehicles came into effect in April 2007 and exist to ensure the health and safety of mobile workers and drivers of in scope vehicles. The purpose of the rules is to limit driving time and ensure proper break and rest periods are taken so that road traffic collisions are prevented.
The rules apply to certain categories of ‘mobile workers’, the most common being drivers of Large Goods Vehicles (LGV) and Passenger Service Vehicles (PSV) - ‘in-scope vehicles’.
- Mobile workers include any driver or member of vehicle crew, including trainees or apprentices, who operate transport services for passengers or goods by road, for hire or reward or on its own account. For the purposes of this legislation, vehicle crew could include porters involved in household removals, draymen in brewery delivery movements, conductors, loaders, navigators or security.
- The most common types of mobile workers will be drivers of Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) with an overall weight over 3.5 tonnes and Passenger Service Vehicles (PSVs) with more than nine seats or travelling more than 50 kilometres. These are called in-scope vehicles. Vehicles used by the fire and rescue service are automatically exempt from the rules but applicants who drive in-scope vehicles for their primary or secondary employment will still be covered by these regulations.
Although fire and rescue service vehicles are exempt, the rules do apply where a firefighter holds a second job which involves driving. In this case all the strict breaks and rest periods must be adhered to, even if that firefighter only drives in scope vehicles for a short period of time.
The rules particularly apply to On-Call firefighters and will impact on the ability of an On-Call firefighter who drives an in-scope vehicle during their primary employment to get appropriate rest periods. This will also affect their availability to provide firefighter cover. It has therefore been deemed unlawful for us to employ an individual whose primary or other employment conflicts with the rules and we will be unable to accept an application from you if you are a mobile worker driving an in-scope vehicle.
If you are unsure as to whether you drive an in-scope vehicle you should seek advice from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). For all other questions regarding an application for On-Call firefighter please contact the Recruitment Team.
You can apply at any time by downloading our application form and submitting this to Human Resource at Fire Service Headquarters. Your application will be acknowledged in writing.
The selection process
To make sure we find the best people for the job there are a number of stages to the selection process. You will be required to commit some time to attend each stage, and we appreciate this may involve booking time off work and re-arranging family commitments.
Stage 1: The application form
Completing your application form will take some time and, to assist you in deciding if it is the right job is for you, you are first asked to complete two pre-application checklists. Checklist one will help you decide whether you are likely to enjoy working as a firefighter, and Checklist two will determine if you are eligible to apply.
Your application will be assessed and, if you meet the required cover and distance criteria and your station is recruiting, you will be invited to take part in the selection process.
Stage 2: The interview
You will be invited to attend your local On-Call fire station for an informal interview with the station management team, for approximately one hour, normally held on an evening. This will be an opportunity for the team to get to know you and further explain the role and expectations of an On-Call firefighter; it will also be an opportunity for you to find out more about the life of an On-Call firefighter and if you are likely to enjoy it.
Stage 3: The fitness test
If you are successful in the informal interview, you will be invited to take a fitness test (Chester Treadmill Test) to determine if you meet the minimum VO2 standard of 42; this will take approximately half an hour, however it is a 12 minute treadmill test. If you do not meet the standard at this stage and our Fitness Advisor feels you are able to improve your fitness levels, you will be provided with fitness guidance.
Stage 4: The written tests
You will be invited to take the full suite of written tests detailed below, which take approximately three hours. You will be provided with a practice booklet so that you may become familiar with the type of tests you will take.
- Working with numbers test - In this test you will be presented with a number of scenarios that include numerical information in a variety of formats, from graphs to gauges. For each scenario you will be asked multiple choice questions.
- Understanding information test - You will be presented with a number of scenarios, each followed by a number of multiple choice questions that you should answer using the information contained in the scenario.
- Situational awareness and problem solving test - You will be presented with a number of scenarios and asked to select your most likely response from a series of answers.
If you can provide original evidence that you possess GCSEs grade A-C (or equivalent) in Maths and English you will only be required to take the Situational Awareness and Problem Solving Test, which will take approximately one hour.
Stage 5: the physical and strength tests
You will be invited to attend the practical physical tests which will be conducted in small group sessions by our training team. The tests, which take approximately three hours, will include
- Lateral pulldown test (upper body strength test).
- Barbell push test (upper body strength test).
- Ladder climb test.
- Casualty evacuation test.
- Enclosed space test.
- Equipment carry test.
- Equipment assembly test.
These tests replicate the type of tasks you would be expected to undertake on the training school and within the role of On-Call firefighter. They are designed to test practical ability and the ability to follow instructions. More information is available on the Preparing for the physical tests page.
Once the physical tests are complete, decisions will be made about which candidates will be offered a place on our next training course.
Stage 6: medicals and job offers
Those who pass the selection process and are chosen for the next training course will be sent a conditional job offer in the post (subject to satisfactorily completing a full medical assessment, and satisfactory references and pre-employment checks).
The medical assessment will take approximately two hours, and will include a further fitness test if necessary.
Arrangements will then be made for you to attend a uniform fitting.