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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There is further information on the Candidate Pack available on our recruitment website.

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 email or contact our Human Resources Team on 0115 838 8247.

General information about the role

The Service is committed to the prevention of fires, which includes educating the community about fire safety, carrying out home safety checks, and visiting schools and community events. Firefighters also deal with many other types of emergencies such as road and rail crashes, floods, chemical spills, and rescuing people trapped in lifts.

Firefighters come in all genders, shapes, and sizes. There is no height restriction, and you don't have to be exceptionally strong, but you do need to be fit as being a firefighter is physically demanding. The equipment can be heavy but remember you'll be working in a team and will be taught techniques for handling equipment safely.

As part of your role, you will be training, assessed and performing rescues in rivers and open water and will need to be comfortable and confident in this environment. You will be required to complete a swimming assessment as part of the Wholetime Firefighter recruitment process and we would therefore advise that any individual who does not feel confident in water undertakes swimming lessons.

You will hold a level 2 qualification in Maths and English (GCSE A*-C or 4-9 or equivalent) You will be required to provide evidence of this if your application is successful by 31 January 2024. If you do not have the qualifications please contact Futures who can support you with this.

All new wholetime Firefighter recruits will be registered as apprentices during their development period.

The apprenticeship will be a combination of practical and theoretical learning at our Training Centre in Ollerton, combined with periods on an operational fire station as part of the Watch. During this time, you will acquire the basic skills and knowledge of being a Firefighter. You will complete all of your “on the job” training, learning about the community and the risks surrounding your station all the time showing competence in the areas learnt during your time at the Training Centre. This usually takes 2 years. At the end of this process, you undertake a final assessment and, if successful, will become a competent Firefighter.

Yes, you will be paid at the development Firefighter rate which is currently £28,310 per annum. This rises to £36,226 when you achieve full competency.

The stations are divided into teams or watches so that there is always the right number of people on duty to respond to an emergency. NFRS currently operates a self-rostering system. Generally, firefighters work on shifts of two days 0700-1900 followed by two nights 1900 - 0700 then four days off. In addition, the Service has some stations that work a day crewing arrangement, 08:00-18:00. The arrangements for the rostering of staff are set out within a collective agreement.

Yes. Wherever possible, we will try to accommodate part-time working or job-share arrangements for Firefighters to support caring responsibilities. If you would like part-time work to be considered, please indicate this on your application form. However initial training will require you to commit to full-time hours for a period of time.

Firefighters are required to work at any location in Nottinghamshire and will be placed at Stations where there are vacancies.

Whilst it is not a prerequisite to apply there is an expectation that you will obtain a licence within 2 years of joining the Service. This is because you can be required to serve anywhere and will regularly be detached to different Stations in the County.

Specific information about selection

You must be at least 18 years of age at the start of the training course.

There is no maximum age.

No, there are no height limits anymore.

You can be of any nationality to apply, provided that you have the permanent right to remain without restriction in the UK. EU citizens are automatically eligible to apply.

You will be required to supply evidence of your right to work in the UK during the recruitment process.

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 Firefighter Recruitment Fitness Guidance, and further information is contained in our Medical Guidance. 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.

If you are a serving member of the armed forces, you must be available to undertake the selection tests which will be held on separate dates throughout the recruitment process. This may present a problem if posted overseas. If offered a contract of employment, you must be able to start your training by the start of the first course.

If you are an ex-member of the armed forces, in order to be able to apply, you must have left the forces within the previous 3 years. If you were discharged due to a general discharge as a result of unacceptable behaviour or conduct, or dishonourably discharged the armed forces exemption will not apply i.e. you will not be eligible to apply under the armed forces criteria.

All armed forces applicants will be required to provide evidence relating to their discharge.

Yes, you may apply through this process.

Due to the volume of applications, we are unable to offer alternative dates. Applicants must be available on the dates published.

We seek to represent the communities we serve in the makeup of our organisation. By employing people from our communities, we enhance our organisations knowledge of our local communities. We also contribute to the economic growth of our communities by providing local jobs for local people.

Please note that this is not a requirement for applicants who are serving or ex-members of the armed forces (who have left the Service within the past 3 years) and their direct family. This is also not a requirement of students whose main residency is outside of Nottinghamshire but who are studying in Nottinghamshire with the expectation that they will continue to reside in Nottinghamshire.

Evidence of permanent residency will be sought as part of the selection process. Applicants must permanently reside within the following Boroughs/District Councils:

  • Ashfield District Council
  • Bassetlaw District Council
  • Broxstowe Borough Council
  • Gedling Borough Council
  • Mansfield District Council
  • Newark and Sherwood District Council
  • Rushcliffe Borough Council
  • City of Nottingham

There is usually a large response to any campaign; therefore, it can take 6 months to complete the whole selection process from application to offer.

The recruitment process consists of the following elements:

  • Recruitment Day to include fitness test (bleep test)
  • Telephone sift
  • Job-related tests
  • Interview and presentation
  • Swimming assessment (1 length 25-metre pool and able to tread water)
  • As a minimum all appointments will be subject to medical clearance, receipt of satisfactory personal checks, confirmation of eligibility to work in the UK, standard DBS check and police vetting as required.

Yes, as part of the pre-employment checks candidates will be required to undertake a disclosure and barring check.

The Government has recently legislated to enable Fire Authorities to be included in Schedule 1 Rehabilitation Of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) which allows for Fire and Rescue Authorities to conduct more comprehensive criminal records checks on their employees by extending powers to undertake standard DBS checks which provide information on spent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings in addition to unspent cautions and convictions.

Applicants successful through the recruitment process will be subject to a Standard Disclosure and Barring Check as part of pre employment checks. The standard DBS check will include both spent and unspent convictions, subject to filtering principles. Filtering is the term used to describe the process that identifies which criminal records will be disclosed on a Standard or Enhanced DBS certificate. Certain old or minor offences may not be disclosed on DBS certificates and are known as ‘protected’ offences. Further guidance on the filtering rules can be found at Filtering rules for DBS certificates - GOV.UK (

In order to apply you will need to:

  • live in the City or County of Nottinghamshire and/or
  • be a serving member of the armed forces or a direct family relation of a member of the armed forces or have been a member of the armed forces within the last three years and
  • hold a level 2 qualification in Maths and English (GCSE A*-C or 4-9 or equivalent) You will be required to provide evidence of this if your application is successful

You will only be able to apply once your conviction is spent according to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. However minor driving convictions e.g., speeding offences will not be taken into account. There are certain spent periods for different convictions.

For further information please refer to our Disclosure and Barring Policy and Employment of ex-offenders Policy these documents will form part of the recruitment pack. Information is also available at (Opens in a new window)

This will depend upon the nature of your disability as the role requires standards of physical fitness, endurance and sight and hearing requirements.

If you consider that you have a disability, then you should contact us to discuss this. You will be asked if you have a disability or impairment as part of the recruitment process and to provide details of any reasonable adjustments that you may require, to allow you to take part in the process and fulfil the role of a firefighter. Each case will be considered on an individual basis and we will consider whether reasonable adjustments can be made which would allow your application to proceed.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is a member of the disability confident scheme and is committed to creating a diverse workforce to reflect the diversity of our community and where everyone is welcomed for the contribution they can make. We welcome and value applications from all parts of our communities and particularly those who are currently under-represented in our workforce.

The Candidate Recruitment Pack will provide all the information required in terms of the process. You will be notified at each stage of the process whether you have been successful and are to be progressed to the next stage of the process. You can find the recruitment pack on the NFRS recruitment portal (Opens in a new window). Details will be provided in the advert.

No, you will not be eligible to apply through this process. Competent Wholetime Firefighters will be required to apply through a separate transferee process.

General queries

The wearing of exposed jewellery, due to health and safety reasons is not permitted.

NFRS respects everyone’s religious beliefs but there are health and safety reasons why facial hair can be problematic.

The beard will have to be trimmed or completely removed in order to ensure your safety when wearing breathing apparatus. To ensure that the facemask forms a seal around the face, it is necessary to keep the face shaven to prevent any dangerous airborne chemicals from entering the facemask.

Yes. Dreadlocks (including braids, cornrows, plaits, etc.) like any employee's hair, need to be kept tidy and not interfere with your personal protection firefighting uniform. These rules help keep firefighters safe.

Yes. Part of the recruitment process will include a medical and this will include an eye test. Our Occupational Health and Fitness Manager will provide the service with a report as to whether your vision meets the standards to become a Firefighter. All applicants are strongly advised to read the Firefighter Recruitment Fitness Guidance and Medical Guidance for details on the fitness and medical standards (eyesight and hearing) required to enter the Service

Where tattoos are visible, they should be in keeping with the professional image of the Service and not contrary to the values of the Service. Employees may be requested to cover tattoos in a public setting where there is a likelihood that they may cause offense (image or words).

Yes, but due to the nature of the job, there may be times when this is just not possible. However, every effort is made to provide appropriate facilities for all employees.

Yes, gender plays no part in the roles that are available. Pay scales are set nationally and are based on whether you are a Firefighter in development or are competent in the role. Promotions are assessed on ability regardless of gender and all firefighters are trained to the same level.