Frequently Asked Questions

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We know that a career in the fire and rescue service is extraordinary, so we have collated some answers to our most frequently asked questions that you may find useful. If you can't find what you're looking for, please speak to the staff on your local station or contact our Human Resources Team on 0115 838 8247.



Q: How close do I need to be to my local fire station?

Generally you must either live or work within a five minute drive (at normal road speed) of your closest station to be considered for a role as a retained firefighter. This is because our fire engines need to be able to respond quickly (and safely) to emergency incidents.

Q: Are there any age or height limits?

Height-wise, no, there is no limit anymore. With regards to age, there is no upper limit, however you must be 18 before the start of your firefighter training. Applications will be accepted from 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the time their training course starts.

If you're still not quite old enough, don't give up hope as we are always on the lookout for new retained firefighters. Your time will come!

Q: How fit do I need to be?

You need to have a good level of upper body strength and cardiovascular fitness to pass our selection tests and, subsequently, the training course. The required levels of strength and fitness can be found on our Yes You Can Fitness page. On this page is also a training programme that you can take should you feel you are not yet at the required levels.

It is important that you maintain your levels of fitness during your firefighting career, and all our stations have personal training instructors and fully equipped gyms to help you with this.

Q: What qualifications do I need?

No qualifications are needed to join #TeamNFRS as an on-call firefighter.  

You will, however, be required to pass a number of selection tests prior to joining - these include a literacy and numeracy test.

Q: How often will I get called out?

It's hard to say exactly how many times you will be called out, as incidents are unpredictable, however on average you're looking at being paged around 2-3 times a week.

Q: How much time will I have to spend 'on-call' each week?

Retained firefighters must be able to provide 84 hours of on-call cover each week. When on-call, you will be required to carry your pager with you at all times and respond to the station, when required, to crew the fire engine.

Q: I have a criminal conviction, can I still apply?

If your criminal conviction that is spent then you will still be able to apply. If you have a conviction that is not spent, we will consider your application on a case by case basis - depending on the nature of the conviction. If you would like clarification on a criminal conviction, and how it may affect your employment, contact our Human Resources Team on the number above.

Q: How long is the training course?

The training course for retained firefighters is normally spread across a three month period to allow staff to fit it around their primary employment. This means that, if you are successful in your application, you will be expected to attend training in the evening and at weekends - as well as during the week.

Q: What does the application process consist of?

The application process includes the following, in this order:

  • Submitting your application form (go on, you know you want to...).
  • Attending a job related test weekend - which includes our various job related tests, a fitness tests and a numeracy and literacy skills test.
  • An interview with your local Watch and Station Managers.
  • A medical at our Service Headquarters.
  • Disclosure and barring service checks.

If you pass all of these stages and are offered a job, you will then be invited to a uniform fitting before starting a course at our Service Development Centre in Ollerton.

It's also important to note that we require two employment references.

Q: How do I apply?

More information on how to apply can be found here.

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