The common image of the Fire and Rescue Service is naturally one of firefighters turning out in fire engines and fighting fires. It is true of course that some of the work involves attendance at fires, but the role is much wider than this.
In recent years, greater emphasis has been placed on the Fire and Rescue Service's role within the community; with firefighters spending more time out in the community raising awareness, conducting Home Fire Safety Checks, communicating fire prevention and other safety messages.
In addition, a firefighter's work and training also has to be geared to responding at speed to emergency calls, regardless of weather conditions or the time of day or night. Every time firefighters are called to the scene of an emergency they must be prepared to deploy each and every skill in which they have been trained.
Fully competent firefighters are skilled technicians capable of using the most modern equipment, methods and techniques to undertake the full range of firefighting, rescues, road traffic collisions and other emergencies that the Fire and Rescue Service is called upon to deal with.
When they arrive at an incident as part of a team under the command of an incident commander, firefighters have to absorb a great deal of information rapidly and apply the skills they have learnt in conditions which will often be extremely dangerous and confusing. Despite all the training given in preparation for such incidents, however, firefighters will from time to time be faced with new situations where they may individually be required to provide solutions using previous experiences as a guide.
With such a varied job, the characteristics of a firefighter have to be those of courage; physical and mental strength; the capacity for rapid, intense and sustained effort, and an unquestioning acceptance of orders at emergencies, combined with the ability to use initiative when alone. A firefighter also needs to be compassionate and above all, display a positive and professional attitude at all times.
Want to join as a Firefighter? Guidance on getting fit and maintaining your fitness levels is available.
Further details on fitness for the firefighter recruitment campaign are available.
Please view our vacancy listing
The Service operates a number of wholetime duty systems; this recruitment process will seek to fill vacancies across all duty systems. A summary of them follows:
The 42 hour week, four group duty system operates at all shift duty stations. The day shift will be from 0800 hours until 1800 hours and the night shift from 1800 hours until 0800 hours in accordance with a rota of two days/two nights/four days off duty.
The basic salary for a Wholetime Firefighter is currently £27,178 as a trainee; £28,310 in development; and £36,226 when competent.
The day crewing plus system of duty consists of a combination of ‘positive’ and ‘standby’ hours.
Positive hours – provides an average working week of 42 hours over a twelve month period. No fixed working pattern is imposed and employees are required to self-roster in accordance with relevant guidance.
The positive component involves 12 hour shifts (including meal breaks), during which time employees undertake routine duties, ie training, community fire safety etc. Whilst indicative start and finish times of 0800 and 2000 are employed, these are flexible in accordance with local needs.
To meet the 42 hour week contractual obligation, staff are required to work a total of 148 shifts per annum after leave and public holidays are taken into account (figures quoted assume long service leave entitlement)
Working patterns are agreed in 12 week blocks and staff will be required to work a total of 34 shifts in each 12 week period. For managerial purposes, all shifts must be agreed and the rota fully populated a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the commencement of the relevant 12 week block.
Standby Hours – staff are available in 12 hour periods for up to 42 hours per week on average. During this time they will be on call for emergencies and must be able to respond to incidents within the specified timeframe. Staff may be on call at their own base provided that they can meet the specified response time. Alternatively, purpose built accommodation is provided if this is not possible.
Salary for staff working the Day Crewing Plus Duty System is the basic salary, plus an additional 32% of salary.
The Flexible Day Crewing system provides for wholetime duty for an average of 42 hours weekly over a twelve-week period. An average of 31.5 hours are worked on the station each week. In addition, you are required to provide an average of 42 hours retained availability each week.
This duty system requires you to provide an address within 5 minutes of the station from which to respond during night time ‘stand-by’ hours.
In terms of salary, in addition to the basic Firefighters salary, the Flexible Day Crewing system attracts a retaining fee of 5% (pensionable) of the basic pay; an annual Flexible Day Crewing allowance of £4,692.48 (non-pensionable), plus turnout fees (pensionable) and attendance fees (pensionable).
The successful applicant would possess the following:
The application form provides us with your personal details such as work history or qualifications and gives you an opportunity to demonstrate any evidence that you have to show how you meet the employee specification. If an area is essential you cannot be considered for the role of Firefighter unless you evidence that you have that element of the criteria.
You will undertake tests to assess the ability to process information, problem solve and work with numbers.
The tests may include, but are not limited to:
You will be required to undertake practical tests which assess your level of fitness, and strength, as well as your level of confidence in simulated exercises.
Tests involved are designed to reflect operational practice and may change from time to time but may include Ladder Climb, Casualty Evacuation, Ladder Lift / Lower Simulation, Enclosed Space, Equipment Carry and Hose Running.
Applicants will have the option to take the Bleep Test or the Chester Treadmill test.
The point of entry fitness requirement is 42.3VO2 which is equivalent to Level 8.6 on the Multi-Stage Shuttle Run/Bleep Test.
To find out more information about the required levels of physical fitness, download this booklet which has been created by the Chief Fire Officers Association
The interview consists of a face-to-face to discussion with a panel of trained interviewers. The format will be a series of questions about your experience, knowledge, skills and abilities against the employee specification.
The employee specification will be available on this website when posts are advertised so you can consider the qualifications, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities we are looking for.
During the selection process, you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire and a range of other forms and return them all fully completed, before visiting our Occupational Health Unit (OHU) where you will undergo a medical assessment to determine your fitness for the role. Up to date eye test results are required so you will also need to take a specific form to your optician and get them to complete it fully so that it can be returned prior to your medical appointment. Restrictions that may be in place due to Coronavirus may mean that some elements of the full medical examination cannot be undertaken at this appointment, and if that is the case, any subsequent offer of employment will be subject to the remainder of the medical being carried out once restrictions are lifted, and there being a successful outcome.
As a firefighter you are required to wear breathing apparatus to protect you from the smoke and other substances in the air. A beard could cause a barrier between the mask and face, limiting the ability to create a good seal. Firefighters are allowed some facial hair, but they need to be clean shaven around the jawline areas for the breathing apparatus to make an effective seal and to keep them safe. Fire Services are currently working closely with the manufacturers of the equipment to look for new ways to overcome the issues with facial hair, however acceptable alternatives that would meet health and safety requirements have not yet been identified.
The Service will make every effort to provide a private place for you to pray and a number of our sites have ‘Quiet Rooms’. However, there may be times when you are involved in a rescue or other activity that will mean you may need to defer your prayers until the incident is finished.
For prospective applicants from the Muslim community, it may be helpful to read the following statement from the Chair of the Lancashire Council of Mosques:-
“We are extremely pleased to be informed of your eagerness to accommodate a diverse range of people within your workforce and provide a supportive working environment for each of your staff.
With regard to your position on an individual needing to give preference to an emergency incident over attending prayers, this is a perfectly feasible stance and has been permitted within Islamic precepts. Therefore, exclusively in the setting of an emergency circumstance, responding to operational calls and attending emergency incidents whilst consequently delaying prayer, is an admissible position and does not harm the Muslim personnel within your workforce.”
The Service recognises that all initiated Sikhs are required to wear several articles of faith at all time, known as the Panj Kakaar or the Five K’s and include, the Kanga, the Kirpan, the Kara, the Kachera and the Kesh. The turban (or dastar) is also included as an article of faith. Whilst Section 11 and 12 of the Employment Act 1989 as amended by Section 6 of the Deregulation Act 2005, exempts turban-wearing Sikhs from any legal requirement to wear head protection in the workplace, there are limited exceptions for particularly dangerous and hazardous tasks where individuals work in an occupation such as the fire service, which involves providing an urgent response to an emergency where a risk assessment has identified that head protection is essential to protect firefighters entering a burning building dealing with hazardous materials.
Firefighters come in all shapes and sizes, while you do have to be physically fit, good technique can really help. The role can be extremely physical and involve working in a vast array of situations and environments. Tasks that firefighters may carry out at incidents include:
• Running out lines of hose
• Climbing stairs of tall buildings
• Pitching ladders
No – fire stations have separate facilities for female and male firefighters. Some of our sites have gender-neutral facilities.
We have many firefighters with Dyslexia. Dyslexia is classed as a disability, and you will be asked if you have a disability as part of the application form stage. If you have a disability, you should contact the Human Resources Department on 01772 866840 to discuss any reasonable adjustments you wish us to consider making during each stage of the recruitment process.
No. Candidates will be expected to pass strength and fitness tests as part of the recruitment process, and these are at a level achievable for both men and women of all different sizes and builds.
In addition to the normal reference checks, this role is subject to a Basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. If you are successful, you will be asked to bring the relevant documents to our HR Department at Service Headquarters, where you will be guided through applying for the check on line.
You are required to declare any convictions for offences that are not spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This includes any offences dealt with by a court of law, HM Services’ disciplinary procedures and any driving offences. Having a criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from working for us. If you have a conviction the Service will consider its nature, its relevance to the role of firefighter, the sentence, patterns of offending and the length of time since the offence. Due to the nature of the duties some firefighter posts are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and are subject to a DBS Check/Enhanced Check via the Disclosure and Barring Service. Any post holder who undertakes regulated activity will also be subject to an additional Barred List check.
A copy of LFRS Policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders (where a post will involve a DBS disclosure) is available on LFRS website.
Candidates will be placed at Stations where there are vacancies. A range of factors is taken into account when allocating stations including home locations. Firefighters can apply to transfer to an alternative station on completion of their development.
A range of shift patterns exist within the Service which have regard to the special circumstances of individual staff and aim to provide family friendly options. Different Stations have different shift patterns and candidates will be placed at Stations where there are vacancies. Firefighters can apply to transfer to an alternative station on completion of their development.
Yes. Part of the recruitment process will include a medical and this will include an eye test. Our Occupational Health Physician will determine whether your vision meets the standards to become a firefighter. You will be required to take up to date eyesight test results to your medical appointment.
The National Recruitment Standards require Firefighters to have:
• Uncorrected distance vision no worse than 6/18 in the better eye, and 6/24 in the worse eye.
• Corrected distance acuity should be at least 6/9 with both eyes open and reach 6/12 in the weaker eye.
• The ability to read N6 at 30cm (under 25 years) or N12 at 30cm (25 years and over) unaided binocularly.
• No history of night blindness.
• Acceptable colour vision defined as no more than 2 errors on Ishihara plates test. Candidates who fail the Ishihara will require further testing, should they wish to proceed with their application.
• If the Candidate has had laser eye surgery they should be tested using contrast LogMAR or Pelli Robinson.
Firefighters are permitted to wear contact lenses whilst on duty providing the following conditions are complied with:
• A report is obtained from the optician who issued the contact lenses confirming the visual acuity both with and without the lenses along with the date the lenses were received.
• The report must also confirm that the lenses used are of the soft contact lens type and that the individual has satisfactorily demonstrated that they are capable of wearing those lenses continually for up to 16 hours without deterioration of their vision.
Yes, anyone who considers they have a disability can apply to join the fire service.
You will be asked if you have a disability as part of the recruitment process and to provide details of any reasonable adjustments that you may require to take part in the selection process and to fulfil the role of a firefighter. Each case will be considered on an individual basis.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has a policy for Secondary Employment, employees are required to request and obtain written approval if they have a second job.
You must be at least 18 years of age at the start of the training course.
There is no maximum age.
All new firefighters are issued with uniform and kit before the initial training course starts.
Kit includes uniform that will be worn whilst on duty, and full firefighting kit, including helmet and boots, which is used whilst carrying out training and when attending incidents.
LFRS have several duty systems. Full details can be found by clicking on ‘Shift Systems’ on the ‘Wholetime Firefighter’ section on our Careers page.
The Annual Leave Entitlement: is 23 days per annum plus 3 additional days after 5 years continuous service plus bank holidays. The booking and taking of leave is prescribed as per Service Orders.
Locations of all our fire stations are on our website. You must be prepared to work anywhere within Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service. Some of our fire stations require you to live within 5 minutes of the station, so you may need to relocate. These are our ‘Flexible Day Crewing’ stations.
Yes, there is a pension scheme, details of which are given to successful candidates.
Yes, the Service requires wholetime firefighters to provide cover anywhere in the County at short notice, therefore we ask for a driving licence as part of the essential criteria.
You must have a full and current driving licence that entitles you to drive in the UK without restrictions by the time you submit your application.
You can be of any nationality to apply, provided that you have the permanent right to remain and work without restriction in the UK. You will be required to supply evidence of your right to work in the UK during the recruitment process.
In the interests of health and safety, all piercings must be removed before starting operational duty. Tattoos are acceptable providing they could not be deemed as offensive. Tattoos are automatically unacceptable if they are rude, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic or violent.
This is a desirable criteria.
The dates of the assessments and training course dates will be made known at the beginning of the recruitment process. If you are unable to make any of the dates, you will not be able to continue with the process.
You will be withdrawn from the recruitment process.
We need to ensure that the person we are assessing is the person that is applying for the role of wholetime firefighter; therefore if you do not bring photographic ID to each stage of the process you will be withdrawn from the recruitment process.
Applicants can apply via the LFRS website, when the vacancies are live.
Yes. Our processes may differ from those used within other Fire and Rescue Services and in the interests of fairness, it is vital that all candidates have been assessed in the same way.
The emphasis for us is on prevention, which means that firefighters contribute to educating the community about the importance of fire safety; working with local communities and local businesses. They also deal with other types of emergency – road, rail or air traffic accidents; floods, chemical spills, rescuing people or animals. They also spend time training and doing routine activities such as checking equipment.
Yes, there are opportunities and a clear path for development and promotion. This could be in terms of moving into a specialist area such as Protection, for instance as a Fire Safety Enforcement Officer, or becoming a manager in an operational post, ie Crew Manager, Watch Manager and so on.
The number of vacancies available depends on a number of factors, such as retirement rates and Service requirements. We are unable to provide specific numbers.
Decisions relating to whether or not your medical issue will prevent you from becoming a firefighter can only be made following a detailed and individual assessment with our Occupational Health Unit (OHU).
It won’t necessarily prevent you from becoming a firefighter. Your condition will be assessed at the medical stage by our OHU.
You will need to be physically fit and maintain your levels of fitness throughout a career as a firefighter. As part of the selection process you will be required to undertake a fitness test. The ‘Bleep Test’ or Multi-Stage Shuttle Run is a fitness test to determine your aerobic capacity which needs to be 42.3 VO2 max (the maximum or optimum rate at which the heart, lungs, and muscles can effectively use oxygen during exercise, used as a way of measuring a person's individual aerobic capacity). This can be predicted during the Multi Stage Shuttle Run (bleep test) with the target of 42.3 VO2 max being achievable upon completion of level 8.6. Candidates must move between two given points in time to a ‘bleep’ sound; the pace is increased incrementally. A short video of this test taking place is available to view in the ‘Recruitment and Selection’ section.
Alternatively, candidates can elect to undertake the Chester Treadmill Test. This test is an incremental test incorporating seven levels where the gradient increases 3% every two minutes whilst the speed is set at 3.9mph (6.2km/hr). To be successful the two minute warm up and full twelve minute test has to be achieved. A video of this test taking place is also available to view in the ‘Recruitment and Selection’ section of this web page.
Yes, you will be expected to complete the application process in the same way as anyone else.
You will be expected to complete the application process in the same way as anyone else. If you were successful with LFRS and wished to continue with the other FRS, you would have to make a request for secondary employment.
No, we are not accepting any external transfers.
None, however your skills in relation to numeracy and literacy will be assessed as part of the recruitment process.
Not necessarily, although the selection process will be similar in parts.
You will be assessed on your situational judgement. You will be given a scenario to read and then you must select which course of action you think is the correct one. The test is untimed but normally takes candidates around 25-30 minutes. You will be sent a link to complete this at home.
These are completed at our Training Centre and are pencil and paper based. The tests are timed.
The best websites for practising all the tests are below. Please note the practice tests won’t be the same as the tests you will undertake as part of the selection process, but they may give you a good idea of the format, and in terms of the verbal and numerical tests, allow you to practice against the clock.
Most local colleges will offer individuals the opportunity to undertake Level 2 qualifications in numeracy and literacy etc. These can often be completed throughout the year, within short timescales and may also be free of charge depending on the circumstances.
National Guidance is available on our website: FireFit Preparatory Fitness Programme
Further information on the apprenticeship development programme please visit: www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards
The Lancashire Fire and Rescue website contains information Wholetime Recruitment or www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk
Yes you will need to submit a new application form. The form may have changed since you last applied. if you registered with Blue Octopus, the system will have retained your previous application form and you can view this if you want to use some of the same evidence. If you chose not to register the system will not have retained your previous application form.
As at 1.7.22, a trainee firefighter who commences a wholetime recruit’s course will commence on a salary of £25,884. On successful completion of the wholetime recruits course, the individual will progress to being in development on a salary of £26,962. Further to additional training and on achieving competency (this may take up to a maximum of 2 years) the salary will increase to (currently) £34,501. Additional allowances are paid depending on the working shift system adopted.
If you join the Firefighters 2015 Pension Scheme you can currently retire at 60 years of age without reductions. Your Pension Service - Firefighters' Pension Scheme