What does the application process involve?
From finding out if the role is for you, to the checks involved in offering you a post, there are a number of steps involved in applying to WYFRS. Click here for full details of the application process.
How fit do I have to be?
The role of an on-call firefighter can be physically demanding and so requires a good level of fitness. You can find information on our fitness requirements and to see if you’re ‘firefighter fit’ here.
What happens if I fail the physical tests?
You have to be successful at each stage of the selection process to progress. You may get the opportunity to re-sit certain elements of the selection process such as the physical tests and/or the interview.
All physical assessments are carried out under the guidance and supervision of the qualified training team. If you fail all or some areas of your physical test, you’ll be invited to take/re-take these areas at a later date. This will give you the opportunity to work on and develop the required areas. We recommend you working alongside the crew at the station you’ve applied for as they can assist with the areas you need to develop.
Do I have to be a certain height/weight to apply?
No, there are no restrictions on either weight or height.
However, candidates are required to have achieved a good level of strength and fitness; this can be achieved by persons of all different sizes and builds.
What qualifications do I need to apply?
We ask that applicants hold Level 2 or equivalent in literacy and numeracy.
Are there any pre-requirements before applying for the role of an On-Call Firefighter?
To be eligible to be an on-call firefighter you must live or work within one mile of the station, and be able to reach the station within five minutes of receiving a call.
Applications are welcomed from those 17 years old or over, but individuals must be 18 years of age or over on commencement of employment, you must be eligible to work in the UK and you must hold a full and current car driving licence on completion of application.
Can I choose which Station to work at?
Yes. providing you live and/or work within the required 1 mile/5 minutes from your chosen station
I am currently a serving Firefighter for another brigade. Can I transfer in?
Yes, providing you meet the requirements above.
Would an applicant be denied if someone has had surgery?
If individuals have a question about their medical fitness to work, they should address all queries to our Occupational Health Department via email at email@example.com
I have tattoos - can I still apply?
You can have tattoos providing they do not cause offence.
If I have a beard/moustache, will I have to shave it off in order to be a fire fighter?
As an employer we respect all candidates’ individual styles, religious beliefs and cultural preferences; however there are health and safety reasons which apply to all candidates equally as to why facial hair cannot be accepted. As a firefighter, you will be required to wear a facemask when wearing breathing apparatus and facial hair may impact the ability to secure this. It is essential the facemask forms the required seal around the face to ensure its efficiency is not compromised.
Closely worn moustaches, maintained in a neat and tidy manner, maybe permitted provided they do not impact on the facemask seal.
How will you contact me regarding my application?
Can I go shopping, visit people or go out whilst I’m on-call?
Yes, but you must make sure that you carry your pager/bleeper and you can get to the station within the specified time of 5 minutes. If you need to go further afield you may be able to book unavailable for a short period if there is sufficient cover at the station.
How will I know when to respond to an incident?
On call firefighters are trained firefighters who, rather than being based at a fire station, provide on-call cover from home and/or their place of work.
They respond to emergencies when their pager/bleeper alerts them, so must work and/or live within approximately one mile/five minutes travel time from the fire station.
How often will I be called out?
On average, you could be called out two or three times a week for a couple of hours at a time. Each Station is different and some are busier than others.
As we are unable to predict when you will be called out, you need to be flexible.
Will having a criminal record prevent me applying?
Having a criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a firefighter, it will depend on the type of conviction and when the offence took place. You are required to declare any convictions for offences that are not spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This includes any offences dealt with by a court of law, HM Services disciplinary procedures and any driving offences.
Before an offer of employment is made a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check will be required. If you require any further information please contact us.
If, at any stage, a conviction is highlighted that you have not declared, your application may be withdrawn from the recruitment process
Can I join a fire service pension scheme?
Yes, just like wholetime firefighters, on-call firefighters can join the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme.
From 1st April 2015, the scheme is a defined-benefit career-average revalued earnings (CARE) occupational pension scheme.
For more information visit http://www.wypf.org.uk/Member/Fire/2015/Scheme2015_Home.aspx
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I’m self-employed, can I still apply?
A number of on call firefighters across the country are self-employed including mechanics, accountants, builders, plumbers, interior designers and shop owners.
Many self-employed on call firefighters have found the dual roles have had a positive impact on their business. This is because they have better links with local businesses and the local community.
What if something happens and I can’t cover my allocated hours?
On call firefighters have a contract which includes details of the agreed time periods they will be available to respond to incidents.
Providing there are sufficient individuals to crew the fire engine, it is possible for individuals to book unavailable for short periods, off call if something unexpected happens.
Your watch commander would advise if/when this is possible.
How much time will I need off work for initial training and what’s involved?
Once you’ve been offered a post as an on-call firefighter, you will be given a contract of employment and invited to join a programme to begin your training.
There are two options for on-call firefighters to complete the initial phase of training
– 15 week (non-residential) training course held at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service headquarters in Birkenshaw, Bradford
– Modular – training with colleagues on station with regular assessments of the required basic core skills, including some practicals at headquarters for example, a three week Breathing Apparatus course.
Depending on an individual’s commitment to their training, the modular option can take between 10 and 12 months and is expected to be completed in no more than 18 months.
For more information on training and the areas covered, please click here.
My primary employment is driving a passenger vehicle/vehicle over 3.5 tonnes, can I still apply?
Candidates whose primary employment involves the driving of ‘In Scope’ vehicles may be considered for employment as on-call (retained duty system) firefighters, however this must be clearly stated on the completed application form. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service as a secondary employer has a duty to ensure staff comply with the rest and break requirements of current EU rules.
‘In Scope’ vehicles are defined in the EC Drivers Hours and Tachograph Rules for Goods Vehicles (Regulation 561/2006) as goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes or a passenger vehicle with nine or more passenger seats.
What’s the min/max hours I need to provide?
The usual weekly minimum commitment is 50 hours but get in touch if you think you can offer less. Of these contracted hours, a minimum of 30% of an individual’s availability must be within the stated ‘Premium Hours’.
Premium Hours are classed as:
8am until 6pm Monday – Thursday
8am Friday UNTIL 6pm Sunday
What’s involved in the medical assessment stage?
More information on the medical assessment stage can be found here.
For further information, or a more detailed conversation, please contact West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Occupational Health Unit on 01274 655878 or via OccupationalHealth@westyorksfire.gov.uk