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Wholetime Firefighter Recruitment 2018.

In the summer of 2018, we started a recruitment campaign.  This has now closed to new applications.  Thank you to those who applied.

If you are interested in future recruitment campaigns, please register for job alerts with www.northeastjobs.co.uk and follow us on social media.

If you are interested in what a firefighter does and the types of tests applicants undergo to become a firefighter, the information below will be of interest to you.

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.

 Our selection process 

The selection process for the role is rigorous and includes:

Practical tests

Candidates are 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)

A pass or fail mark will be given after each round of tests. 

Role related tests

Only if the candidate has achieved a pass in all of the practical tests, will be invited to take part in role-related tests.

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.  


Our interviews lasts for about an hour. This will be our chance to get to know more about the candidate and for them to ask any questions about the role.  

The Medical

A full medical is needed prior to joining us. There are 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 medical tests that will be completed 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 

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). 

Once we have references and received confirmation of a satisfactory enhanced check a position can be offered.

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.