What does being a Community Firefighter involve?

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Firefighter attending incident

The main purpose of the job is to save life, reduce risk, provide humanitarian services and protect the environment in the most competent and effective manner. 

Download the job description and person specification at the bottom of this page to discover the main duties and responsibilities of a Wholetime Community Firefighter.  

As a Firefighter you will be called upon to tackle a wide range of emergency situations where your problem solving skills and initiative will be vital to resolve incidents quickly and calmly. 

Incidents vary from tackling fires and rescuing people from burning buildings to dealing with chemical spillages and road traffic collisions. 

A sensitive approach is required when dealing with members of the public who may be distressed and confused.

Our Firefighters also work closely with the community to increase their level of awareness and therefore prevent incidents from occurring. This may involve carrying out Home Risk Fire Assessments, fitting smoke alarms in people’s homes or visiting schools to deliver talks to children as part of our Schools Education Programme.

Could You Fit a Firefighter's Boots?

The list below gives you some idea of the attributes you need to be a Firefighter. 

  • Over 18 years old on appointment (you can apply at 17.5 years)
  • Have good vision (with or without spectacles)
  • Be physically fit
  • Be resilient and flexible 

Being a Firefighter is challenging and can involve a number of situations or scenarios not commonly found in other jobs. You should consider if you are prepared to;

Our firefighters work in a variety of environments
Our firefighters work in a variety of environments


  • Work at height

  • Work in enclosed spaces

  • Work outdoors

  • Get wet during your work

  • Work in situations where you may see seriously injured casualties or fatalities

  • Work with a diverse range of people e.g. different ages, ethnic backgrounds, etc.

  • Get hot/cold whilst working

  • Carry heavy equipment

  • Work unsociable hours

As front line staff, operational Firefighters will  be expected to promote the professional image of the Service within the community. 

For more details on the duties and responsibilities of an operational Firefighter see the video below.

Firefighter fitting a smoke alarm at a citizens house
A Firefighter fits a smoke detector

Training and Development

As a Firefighter you will be expected to undertake a continuous training programme by attending lectures, exercises, practical training sessions and other forms of training to maintain competency in the role.  For more information visit the Trainee Recruits Course page

What's Next?

To help you decide whether you have the potential to be a successful Firefighter, complete our Firefighter self-selection questionnaire. It will ask you a series of multi-choice questions covering a number of different areas and should take you no more than fifteen minutes to complete. 

You may also want to find out about some of our Firefighters in the staff profiles section.