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

Recruitment process

What’s the recruitment process?

Between recruitment processes, an expression of interest can be submitted to the On-Call Team.

  1. Stage 1 - Fill in the online application form

    Every inquiry will be looked at individually, all we ask is, just be honest and tell us about yourself. If you are eligible, you’ll move to Stage 2

  2. Stage 2 - You’ll be invited into your applied Fire Station to undergo suitability sift with the Watch Manager

    You will be invited into the Fire Station to undergo initial suitability sift by the Watch Manager. This involves reviewing your proposed availability, your location proximity, and fitness level. If you are suitable, you’ll be progressed to stage 3.

  3. Stage 3 – Fitness test
  4. This includes the treadmill test or the bleep test, and is a test of your cardiovascular fitness and stamina.
  5. The bleep test involves running back and forth between a set of cones that are 20 metres apart. It will be on a flat surface - getting harder and harder as the levels get higher. You are required to reach level 8.8 to proceed.
  6. The Chester Treadmill Fitness Test is a 12-minute graded test designed to assess whether an individual can achieve the minimum recommended standard aerobic capacity of 42.3mlsO2/kg/min. The Chester treadmill test was designed specifically for Fire and Rescue Services: 
  7. The Chester Treadmill Test (.pdf, 1 page, 130Kb).
  8. Stage 4 – You’ll be asked to attend the Job Related Tests (JRTs) & Written Assessments.

    The videos attachments below will show you what you will be asked to do. If you get through the tests, you’ll move to Stage 5.

    Ladder Climb Test

    This is to test your confidence whilst working at height. With the guidance of an instructor, you are required to demonstrate a correct 'leg lock' at ground level before ascending a fully extended 13.5m ladder. You must climb this ladder to approximately a second storey height before performing another 'leg lock'. You will then be asked to lean back with your arms outstretched and describe a symbol shown on the floor.

    During this test, you will be wearing full fire kit (personal protective equipment), a helmet and a harness.

    Ladder Lift Test

    This is a test of your upper and lower body strength, and your ability to lift a ladder – something that you will regularly do as a firefighter.

    You will be expected to again wear full fire kit and raise a bar that is already 75cm off the ground, to full arm extension and back down again.

    Equipment Carry Test

    This tests your cardiovascular fitness, stamina and muscular strength and involves carrying a range of fire and rescue service equipment around a course. This must be done within a certain time.

    Candidates are required to:

    • Pick up and carry two rolls of hose for 100 metres
    • Carry one roll of hose at chest height for 25 metres, and then jog 75 metres
    • Pick up and carry a 2.4 metre long suction hose and basket strainer for 100 metres, then jog back 100 metres
    • Pick up and carry a weight for 100 metres

    Equipment Assembly Test

    This tests your manual dexterity and requires candidates to follow a set of instructions to assemble and disassemble a piece of equipment – within a set time.

    For those who are not familiar with climbing equipment, take a look at this guide to ropes and pulleys.

    Enclosed Space Test

    This tests your confidence and agility when working within an enclosed space. You will be required to wear full fire kit and a breathing apparatus mask whilst crawling through a series of tunnels in darkness. This simulates some of the conditions that firefighters may face when dealing with compartment fires.

    Hose Running Test

    The hose running test is designed to analyse the endurance, co-ordination and upper and lower body strength of a candidate, whilst carrying a load. In order to pass the test, candidates are required to run out and make up several lengths of 70mm fire hose within the allotted time.

  9. Stage 5 – Interview You’ll be interviewed by two or three staff, who will ask questions about you, your skills, and your past experiences.

    Remember – be yourself! Pass the interview, and you're through to Stage 6.

  10. Stage 6 – Fitness & Medical

    See our videos above for some tips and hints on some exercises that will help you prepare in advance for this stage. At this stage, you’ll be invited to attend our Occupational Health Centre for a medical. This includes the following tests:

    • General health questionnaire - history of physical and mental health, (with additional respiratory questions for the Asbestos Regulations)
    • Measurement of pulse, blood pressure, height, weight, and waist measurement
    • Urinalysis
    • Vision (both near and distance) plus colour vision
    • Spirometry (lung capacity test)
    • Audiometry (hearing test)
    • Drug and Alcohol screening
    • Cardiovascular fitness test - a treadmill test
    • General physical examination (e.g., cardiovascular, neurological, respiratory, musculoskeletal, etc.)
  11. Stage 7 - References and DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks

    You should provide two references on your application – one personal and one business from your latest employer. You will also have to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS)

  12. Stage 8 – Well done, you’re on the course!

    So now, relax, enjoy, and look forward to starting your training! Useful documents Below are links to documents you might find useful in applying.

Useful information