What does a firefighter do?
The demands of our fire service have changed considerably in recent times and the role of a firefighter has grown and adapted from the traditional image of rescuing people from a burning building. While we do still attend fires, we also attend road traffic collisions, people trapped, floods and storms, water and rope rescues, chemical spillages and training to respond to the growing threat of terrorism.
Prevention and education are a key focus for us in order to make our communities safer. Our firefighters spend a lot of time in the community, visiting people in their homes providing safe and wellbeing visits and fire prevention advice and speaking to schools, community groups and voluntary groups to educate and promote fire safety. They must be able to communicate effectively with all individuals and people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.
With such a varied job, firefighters need a combination of intelligence, courage, compassion, determination and creativity as well as a good level of fitness.
We are not currently recruiting for wholetime firefighters, however an overview of the selection process is outlined below. We are currently recruiting for on-call firefighters, please click here for further information.
Stage 1 – Registration and online tests
Applicants will complete a series of online tests to include:
- SIFT - Initial registration, job preview and eligibility screening
- Behavioural assessment - Behavioural styles questionnaire (BSQ) and Situational judgement test(SJT)
- Ability tests - Mechanical, numerical and verbal reasoning tests. Please click the link to access the online practice tests.
Stage 2 – Role related tests
Applicants will attend the role related (physical) tests which are held at our training facility.
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 consist of:
- 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 - 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.
Stage 3 - Interview
Applicants will attend an interview and presentation which will last around an hour and will be of a formal nature. 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.
Stage 4 – Fitness test and medical
Applicants will attend a fitness test and medical to ensure you meet the nationally agreed health and fitness standards of a firefighter. This will include:
- VO2 max treadmill test
- Alcohol and drugs test
- Blood pressure
- Eyesight test
- Hearing test
- Grip test
- Lung function test
If you have any further questions or require more information, please visit our FAQs
Stage 5 – Pre-employment checks
We will check your references and carry out a baseline personnel security standard (BPSS) check prior to offering you a post as a firefighter.
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 by County Durham and Darlington 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.