Apply to be a wholetime firefighter

The recruitment process

We operate a thorough recruitment process which takes place over several months.

Stage 1 - Online registration

All applicants must complete the registration and eligibility screening stage to formally start your application. This takes less than 15 minutes to complete and must be completed before the set closing date and time. No late registrations will be possible under any circumstances. 

It will be managed on our behalf by HR Solutions Hub, a service specialising in administering the assessments and tests which make up the sifting process. 

A number of applicants will then get taken through to the next stage and will be invited to complete a Situational Judgement test which will assess you against firefighter situations.

Stage 2 - Situational Judgement Test

If you progress onto this stage, you will receive an email from the Apollo system with a link to access the Situational Judgement Test from midday Monday 22 August. The deadline to complete this questionnaire is midday on Tuesday 30 August.

If you do not complete it before this time you will not be progressed further in the recruitment process. If you have passed you will be progressed to the next assessment which is the Fire Service Ability Tests.

Stage 3 – FRS Ability Tests

You will then be invited to complete three online multiple choice ability tests:-

Each ability test will be timed and will last between 16 and 20 minutes each. 

The ability tests will be verified at a later stage of the process. Therefore, please ensure you are honest and carry out the assessments by yourself.

For support to improve your maths and literacy skills, a range of free courses, including distance learning options can be found here.

Stage 4 – Full application form

Successful candidates will be asked to complete a full application form and invited to the Physical and Practical Assessments.

Stage 5  Physical and practical assessments

The physical and practical assessments will be held at the Waddington Training Centre, Sleaford Road, Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln, LN5 9FG.

Prior to attending the physical and practical assessments and to ensure you are fit to take part, you will be asked to complete a confidential medical questionnaire and disclaimer.

The tests will assess your fitness, strength, stamina, co-ordination and dexterity. All the tests are relevant to the role of a firefighter, such as:

  • ladder carry and climb
  • casualty evacuation
  • equipment carry and assembly
  • enclosed spaces
  • simulated hose running

Watch our training videos for an idea of what to expect

You can follow our 12 week training programme to prepare for the fitness test. 

You will also undertake a dictation test. This 10 minute test will assess your ability to listen and accurately record a message from the incident ground by writing the message exactly as it is heard.

Stage 6 – Swimming assessment and Chester Step Test

The final physical assessments will be a swimming assessment where you will be asked to carry out a 50 metre swim unaided to check your swimming ability and confidence in water. You will also undergo a further fitness test in the form of the Chester Step Test.

Stage 7 – Interviews

You will be invited to attend an interview, where you will be asked questions about your experience and skills.

The interview will be based around the NFCC Leadership Framework. You can find out what behaviours will be assessed here. More guidance will be provided prior to the interview to assist you.

Your answers within the interview will be used to determine your suitability for the role.

Stage 8 – Medicals and pre-employment checks

The top scoring candidates from interview will then be invited to undertake a medical with our Occupational Health advisors. Pre-employment checks will also be started and your place on the course will be offered.

Further details available in the candidate pack.

Final stage- Initial training

Wholetime Firefighter recruits will commence 10 week initial training course in February 2023.

More in-depth detail can be found in our candidate pack here.

If you require an accessible version of our candidate pack, please contact