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

Fire cover public consultation is now open: visit our consultation page for more information about the proposed changes and you can have your say by filling in our consultation survey.

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. Monocularity will require additional assessment
    • Distance = visual acuity of 6/9 with both eyes together, aided if necessary. If you do wear aids (glasses or contacts), you are required to bring a copy of your prescription to your medical
    • Near vision = be able to read N12 at 30cm unaided with both eyes open
    • Have a normal visual field in each eye
    • 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
    • Have an appropriate level of colour perception. The Ishihara Test will be used to test for colour perception. If this is not passed, a formal specialist assessment is required before a vocational colour vision test will be performed on the fire ground
    • 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
    • Colour Blindness – If you believe you have colour blindness, it is suggested that you arrange a formal assessment prior to applying
    • Rigid (hard) lenses are not considered safe as debris can become trapped beneath them which can cause visual discomfort and disability
  • 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 using a gas analyser (VO2 max) on a treadmill. Your strength endurance will be assessed at the selection stage during the Job Related Tests

Useful documents