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In an emergency call 999
For general enquiries call 01158388100
Monday - Friday -

Medical and fitness

You will be required to undertake a medical assessment and asked to declare any health problems.

During the medical you will have the following checks:

  • General Medical

    Listen to heart and lungs, examine abdomen and reflexes etc.

  • Blood Pressure

    Raised blood pressure may require further investigation from your GP

  • Breathing / Respiratory function

    This will be assessed using a lung function machine which will identify a sufficient respiratory capacity to carry out firefighting. This is to ensure adequate oxygen intake is maintained to carry out duties requiring exertion over prolonged periods of time

  • Drug and Alcohol Screening

    Testing for alcohol will take the form of breath testing. Saliva samples will be taken to test for substances

  • Hearing

    A good standard of hearing is required as firefighting is a safety-critical role. Hearing is assessed using an audiometer in a soundproofed booth

  • Height / Weight

    This will help to assess general health and fitness

  • Urine test

    A sample of urine will be required to test for signs of diabetes or other medical conditions

  • Vision, the Vision Standards for becoming a Firefighter are as follows: 
    • Vision must be binocular, with full visual fields.
    • Distance vision:
      • Visual acuity should be at least 6/9 binocularly, and a minimum of 6/12 in the worse eye, this can be wearing visual aids.
      • If visual aids are required then the minimum uncorrected vision should be 6/18 in the better eye and 6/24 in the worse eye.
    • Near vision:
      • be able to read N6 at 30cm unaided with both eyes open (applicants aged 25 years or under) or be able to read N12 at 30cm unaided with both eyes open (applicants aged 26 and over).
    • Eye disease:
      • Have no history of night blindness or any other ocular disease that is likely to progress and result in future failure of the visual standards for serving firefighters.
      • Individuals with keratoconus are unlikely to be fit for firefighting duties
      • Compound astigmatism assess for capability, history of headaches and eyestrain
    • Have an appropriate level of colour perception
    • Have not undergone refractive surgery in the previous 12 months. Individuals who have had Radial Keratotomy cannot be considered for operational firefighting duties due to the relatively high incidence of refractive instability.
    • Individuals who have undergone the following types of refractive surgery can be considered 12 months after surgery:
      • Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
      • Laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK)
      • Laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK)
    • Soft contact lenses can be worn.
    • Rigid (hard) lenses are not considered safe as debris can become trapped beneath these which can cause visual discomfort and disability.

    Assessment after Refractive Surgery – an examination to consider the suitability of a refractive surgery patient for operational firefighting should include:

    • A slit lamp examination to confirm that the eye has returned to normal and that there is no significant loss of corneal transparency over the pupil area
    • Refraction, topographic examination and pachymetry to screen for keratectasia.
    • Candidates should have their visual performance assessed using a technique sensitive to the presence of scattered light and aberrations.
  • Fitness

    It is essential to have a good level of aerobic fitness and functional strength endurance. Your aerobic fitness will be assessed at the medical stage on a treadmill. Your strength endurance will be assessed at the selection stage during the Job Related Tests

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