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Firefighter Recruitment

Registration for the firefighter recruitment will be open between 09:00 on the 9th July and will close at 23:59 on the 13th July 2018. This means, that anyone wanting to apply for the post, can register within those dates and hours. Nearer the time, we will post details of the Registration portal. 

Please note, that we are expecting a very high volume of people wanting to register for the roles, that is why we have the registration open for five days. 

Download the Application Pack here

We will post the link here to the portal on which all applications will be made just before Registration opens.

What work does a Firefighter do?

The traditional image of a firefighter is someone in a fire engine with blue lights flashing and sirens wailing, heading to rescue people from a burning building. While we still attend fires, the demands of our fire service have changed considerably in recent times. Therefore the role and requirements of our firefighters have changed in response.

The emergencies we attend are more varied – from road traffic collisions, people trapped, floods and storms, water and rope rescues, chemical spillages and training to respond to the growing threat of terrorism. Thankfully, overall the number of incidents we attend is decreasing. That’s where our prevention and protection work comes in. Both are a key focus for us; so that we can continue to reduce the number and impact of incidents in Tyne and Wear. Our firefighters contribute to this work.

They spend a lot of their time in the community delivering fire prevention advice and other safety messages. They visit people and help them to avoid fires in the home and to plan what to do if one occurs. This involves conducting home safety checks and fitting smoke alarms. They also deliver presentations and talks to schoolchildren, community and voluntary groups to educate and promote fire safety.

Treating people with dignity and respect is at the heart of what we do. Our communities are diverse and we work hard to meet their needs through the services we provide. Our Firefighters must be able to communicate effectively with all individuals, religious groups and people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.


Types of Firefighter Roles

We have two types of firefighter roles: Wholetime Firefighters and On-call Firefighters.

Wholetime Firefighters – are full-time and for the majority of Firefighters this will be their primary occupation. They are required to work days, nights, evenings, weekends and public holidays on one of two duty systems. Details can be found in the Wholetime Firefighter Candidate Information Pack.

On-call Firefighters – are part-time and open to those who live and/or work within 5 minutes of Chopwell, our on-call fire station. With the exception of training sessions and pre-arranged duties, On-call Firefighters only attend their fire station when they receive an emergency call. These Firefighters often have other occupations but commit to being on-call at certain times when they are able to get to their fire station within 5 minutes.

Further information, including eligibility, the various recruitment stages, salary and the duties that make up these Firefighter roles, can be found within the Candidate Information Pack.  The Candidate Information Pack will be available when we publish the dates of the campaign.  Please continue to re-visit this website.


Recruitment Process

The following notes are designed to give you an indication of the recruitment process, what to expect and what will be required of you.  The eight stages are:


9-13 July 2018 - Stage 1. Registration. Job preview and eligibility screening.  

16–18 July 2018 - Stage 2. Behavioural style questionnaire. 

20-23 July 2018 - Stage 3. Situational judgement questionnaire. 

25-30 July 2018 - Stage 4. Ability tests (numerical, mechanical & verbal)

6-10 August 2018 - Stage 5. Role related tests.

20-31 August 2018 - Stage 6. Competency based interview. 

10-14 September 2018 - Stage 7. Occupational Health Medical. 

17-28 September 2018 - Stage 8. Pre-employment checks



During the registration period, candidates will need to apply and complete a pre-qualification questionnaire.  This allows better understanding on whether it is the right career choice for you. 

Practical tests

You will be asked to complete a series of online assessments which include:

Behavioural Styles Questionnaire (BSQ)

Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

Ability Test (Verbal, Mechanical and Numerical Reasoning)

You will receive a pass or fail after each round of tests.  Please note that there is no right to appeal your test results.  Candidates who successfully pass all three ability tests will be invited via email to attend a one day practical assessment. 

Role related tests

Once you have passed the online application process we will invite you to the practical examinations.  You will be sent a link to book your assessment at a location and time suitable to you.

The role of a firefighter is physically demanding and it is important for us to assess your ability to handle the situations and challenges you will face.   We do this through a series of physical and practical tests. These will include:

Ladder Climb - testing your confidence with heights.

Casualty Evacuation - testing your upper and lower body strength as well as your co-ordination.

Ladder Lift - to test your upper and lower body strength as well as your co-ordination.

Enclosed Space - this tests your confidence, agility and stamina when working in enclosed spaces.

Equipment Assembly - designed to assess your manual dexterity and co-ordination.

Equipment Carry - tests your upper and lower body strength as well as your co-ordination.  

There are number of videos which will give you more information to help you prepare you for these tests.  Please watch Durham and Darlington’s video for more information. 


After passing the practical tests you will be invited to attend an interview.  This will take place at Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Sunderland, and lasts for about an hour. This will be our chance to get to know more about you and for you to ask any questions you have about the roles available.  

The Medical

We need you to take a full medical prior to joining us. You must meet the nationally agreed health and fitness standards for the physically demanding and potentially hazardous role of a firefighter and to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

The assessment will be conducted at our Occupational Health Unit at our Service Headquarters, Sunderland.

The medical tests that will be completed on the day will include:

blood pressure and pulse

height, weight and body mass index


grip strength

vision (Please note, if you have received laser eye surgery this procedure must have been carried out a minimum of 1 month prior to your medical assessment)

your lung function

drugs and alcohol 

Further details of the medical can be found here.


References and DBS

We now need to check your references and carry out an enhanced check under the Disclosure and Barring Service (previously known as the Criminal Records Bureau).  This process can take some time but don’t worry, we will get in touch as soon as we have everything back.

Once we have references and received confirmation of a satisfactory enhanced check we will be in a position to offer you the post of a firefighter.

If you have any further questions or require more information, please visit our FAQ’s 


How we will use your data

Under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) any data collected in the course of any recruitment campaigns will be used Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and / or our recruitment partners for quality assurance purposes pertaining to the individual campaign.  Following the conclusion of each campaign, your data will be securely disposed of and you will need to re-register for any other campaign that you wish to apply for.