Joining us

Becoming a fulltime, known as wholetime, firefighter at Avon Fire & Rescue Service generates a significant level of interest. We are not seeking one type of person as the role requires many varied skills.  We want to attract applicants who have a range of experience and life skills which they can bring to the role.  You must meet the strict criteria below to be eligible to apply:

  • You must live in one of the areas covered by Avon Fire & Rescue Service (Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire and North Somerset). You must reside at the given address and we will ask you to provide proof of this at each stage of the selection process.  
  • You must be aged 18 or over when the training school starts on 28 May 2018.
  • You must be able to drive, have 3 points or less on your driving licence and have access to a vehicle.
  • You must be physically fit and have good upper body strength.

How to apply

We expect a high level of interest in these vacancies so in order to make sure we find the best people for the job there are a number of stages to the selection process. This section guides you through the  recruitment process and the timescales involved. The selection process will be conducted to strict deadlines and no extensions can be given. It is therefore important that you are able to set aside the required time to complete these assessments on the set dates. It is important to register your interest to ensure you receive updates when new information is added to these pages.  It is possible that some dates and information will alter.

Stage 1: Eligibility and on-line questionnaires

Eligibility screening
Monday 8 January - 09.00am on Monday 15 January 2018
The first part of the process is the candidate registration and eligibility screening which you can complete at the beginning of January. This process takes no longer than 30 minutes. If you are eligible to proceed with your application you will be invited to compete the Behavioural Styles Questionnaire at 12:00pm on Monday 15th January.

Behavioural Styles Questionnaire
12.00pm on Monday 15 January - 11.30pm Wednesday 17 January 2018

If you were eligible to proceed with your application then you will be invited via email at 12:00pm on Monday 15th January to complete the Behavioural Styles Questionnaire. This must be completed before the deadline of 11:30pm on Wednesday 17 January. This is not a timed assessment. It should take around 15-20 minutes to complete. You will receive an e-mail on Friday 19th January to advise if you have passed the questionnaire and if successful you will then be invited to complete an online Situational Judgement Test.

Situational Judgement Test
12.00pm on Friday 19 January - 12.00pm on Monday 22 January 2018

If successful at the Behavioural Styles Questionnaire, you will be invited to complete the Situational Judgement Test at 12:00pm on Friday 19th January. This is not a timed assessment and will take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.  This must be completed by the deadline of 12:00pm Monday 22nd January. You will receive an email on Wednesday 24th January informing you whether you have been successful at this stage of the application process, if you are successful you will then be invited to complete the online ability tests.   

Stage 2 : Online ability tests

12.00pm on Wednesday 24 January - 12.00pm on Saturday 27 January 2018
If you successfully pass the Situational Judgement Test you will receive an e-mail at 12:00pm Wednesday 24th January inviting you to complete the online ability tests. There are two tests; numerical and verbal reasoning. These tests are designed to measure your ability to understand, interpret and logically evaluate numerical and written information.  The numerical test comprises of 18 questions and you will have 18 minutes to complete the test.  The verbal test comprises of 20 questions and there is a maximum time limit of 15 minutes. Extensions will be provided for dyslexic candidates. If you pass these tests you will be sent an e-mail with a link to our electronic application form.

Stage 3: On-line application form

Monday 29 January - Monday 05 February 2018
There are two sections to the application form. The first section covers your personal details, including address, date of birth, driving licence details, education and qualifications and criminal/driving convictions. We will use this to check you meet our minimum essential criteria so it’s important you fill this in carefully and accurately.  As part of the initial eligibility screening you should have already checked that you meet the essential criteria before completing the initial selection process.  If you do not meet this criteria your application will not be accepted.

The second section of the form will require you to demonstrate your knowledge of the work of the fire and rescue service, the role of a firefighter and the skills you possess which would make you suitable for the role. There is a maximum limit of 1,000 words for this section of the application.

This is a really important part of the selection process.  You should start to prepare for this now and draft your statement which will help you when the application form is launched.  You should conduct some research to ensure you understand the full role of a firefighter and consider the skills and experience you possess that demonstrate your suitability for the job.  Avon Fire & Rescue Service website provides valuable information and you may also find it helpful to review local press to understand more about the incidents the Service has dealt with recently and the work conducted within the community.

It is best to present the information on your personal statement in a clear and logical format using headings and bullet points to ensure your skills, experience and knowledge of the role are clear.   You may find it helpful to separate your academic, work, practical and interpersonal skills and provide examples to support your statements.  This helps to ensure the information is clear to read and understand and allows us to make accurate assessments when we are shortlisting your application form.

Stage 4: Shortlisting

Tuesday 06 February -  Tuesday 13 February 2018
After the closing date we will begin to shortlist the application forms.  This will take at least one week, depending upon the number of applications we receive.

When the shortlisting has been completed we will contact all applicants to let them know whether or not they have been successful. Our preferred method of communication with you is via e-mail so it is important you provide clear and correct details in your application and that you check your email (including the ‘Junk’ folder) on a regular basis for any update on the progress of your application.

We expect to be extremely busy during this period so we would ask that you do not contact Human Resources for updates.  Unfortunately we are unable to offer any feedback due to the volume of applications we receive.

If you are shortlisted you will be invited to attend our fitness and strength tests which will be held during week commencing 19th February.

Stage 5: Fitness and strength tests

Monday 19 February - Friday 23 February 2018
Candidates who successfully pass the shortlisting stage will be invited to demonstrate that they can meet the physical requirements of the role.  This test will comprise the following two elements:

  • Run - A 1.5 mile run in timed conditions
  • Upper body strength test – A lateral pull down of between 30kg and 60kg and shoulder press of 35kg

Stage 6: Practical physical tests

Wednesday 28 February - Friday 09 March 2018
Candidates who pass the fitness and strength test will be invited to attend the practical physical tests. These will be conducted in small group sessions by our training team at our Hicks Gate Station in Keynsham.

The tests will include

  • a ladder climb;
  • a ladder lift and extension;
  • a crawl through a small tunnel wearing breathing apparatus;
  • a dummy drag;
  • an equipment carry; and
  • an equipment assembly test.

These tests replicate the type of tasks you would be expected to undertake on the training school and within the role of a firefighter. They are designed to test practical ability and the ability to follow instructions. Some of the tests are conducted to set time constraints.  All tests must be passed to move forward to the next stage of the process.  You will also have a short (10 minutes) informal discussion with one of our staff.  This is designed to find out more about you and why you are interested in the role.  If you pass both of these stages you will be invited to attend a formal interview.

Stage 7: Interview

Monday 19 March - Tuesday 27 March 2018
The final stage of the selection test is a one hour interview which will be conducted by a panel of two members of our staff.

The panel will review your application form and ask questions about the information you provided. There will also be a series of standard questions asked.

This is your final opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the varied role of a firefighter. It is much more than the operational response to 999 calls as it involves protecting the community and preventing incidents from occurring.  Firefighters do this by engaging with people within the community and educating them on a range of personal safety topics, including fire.

There is a lot of information on this website and at about the wider role and the work we are involved in. We encourage you to read this and conduct wider research to help you answer the interview questions.

Stage 8: Medicals and job offers

Tuesday 3 April - Tuesday 17 April 2018
Following the interviews we will select our chosen candidates to undergo a full medical. Those who pass will be given a conditional job offer to attend a training school.

All job offers are made on a conditional basis, subject to receipt of satisfactory references and other pre-employment checks.

Firefighter Training 

Tuesday 29 May - Friday 3 August 2018

Training school starts on 29 May and ends on 3 August 2018.  You will not be able to take any annual leave during this period.