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Fire Service Recruitment : Job Details
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All jobs > Strathclyde Fire & Rescue > Whole Time Firefighter > Wholetime Firefighter

Strathclyde Fire & Rescue

Retained Duty Service Firefighters
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Overview of Process
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We need to make sure we get the right people to join us as Firefighters. Our rigorous recruitment and selection process helps us do this by not only assessing if you possess the Personal Qualties and Attributes we need from our Firefighters but also if you are medically and physcially fit enough to cope with the demands of the role.

Follow the links to find out more about each stage of the process. Click here to view an Overview of the Recruitment and Selection Process.

Equally you need to know as much as possible about the job to decide if its for you. No one can tell you what its like to be a Firefighter more than Firefighters themselves. Some of our employees have remained as Firefighters throughout their career and that's OK - its all about choice.

Watch the video to find out what our Firefighters say about the job.

Our rigorous recruitment and selection process makes sure we get the right people to join us as Firefighters

Progression through the Process
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The numbers of candidates who progress at each stage will be determined by how many trainee Firefighters we need to recruit. We will, therefore, select the highest performing people at each stage in the process. If you are not invited to the next part of the selection process it is not necessarily because you performed poorly, it could be that the standard was very high and that you simply did not perform as well as other people.

The training we give is second-to-none

Realistic Job Preview
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The Realistic Job Preview provides you with an opportunity to gain a real understanding of what the role consists of, and the everyday issues and opportunities you might encounter. It provides an understanding of the challenges you might face, and enables you to choose whether the role will suit your own preferred way of working.

You will encounter challenges and opportunities everyday

Application Form
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As well as collating general personal information on you, there are a number of key pieces of information, which we need to obtain to allow us to determine whether your application can progress.

To help you understand the information we gather, examples of this are:

  • You need to be at least 18 years of age to apply
  • You need to be eligible to work in the UK. If you are unsure whether you are eligible to work in the UK, you can check this on the British Immigration Authority website, Proof of eligibility is gathered at the latter stages of the process.
  • In accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exclusions and Exceptions) (Scotland) Order 2003 (as amended) if an applicant has a conviction or spent convictions a nd if the nature of the offence is relevant to the job that he/she has applied for, we will seek to review the individual circumstances of the case and may decide to withdraw candidates on this basis. Details of Disclosure Scotland?s code of Practice can be found at
    If you are unsure if any convictions you have had are not yet spent, you can check on
  • Details of any absences over the previous 2 year period. Whilst every case is treated on its own merits, we need people who are reliable and able to attend work on a regular basis.

There are key pieces of information we need to determine whether your applicatin can progess

Psychometric Tests
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Employers often use Psychometric Tests when people apply for jobs as they help to identify the correct people for the job by aligning their ability and skills with those required for the job itself. Tests give us a real measure of your strengths and limitations and research has consistently shown that people who do well on the tests usually go on to do well in the job itself.

Dependability & Safety Instrument

The Dependability and Safety Instrument (DSI) is a short screening tool that reports the likelihood that a candidate will be a reliable, productive and safe (less accident prone) employee. The DSI score is carried out online and is obtained from 22 statement pairs that assess aspects of personality related to employee dependability and safety.

Situational Judgement Test

A Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is an assessment carried out online and is designed to measure judgements in a realistic work setting. The tests present the candidate with a series of scenario-based questions and a list of possible responses to the situation from which the respondent can choose. Questions are created based on a job analysis of the role, and designed around key competencies or criteria relevant to the role.

The following is an example of the type of question you are likely to find in an SJT:

You are in charge of managing a crowd that has gathered to watch a house fire. So far the crowd have been calm, but they suddenly become aggressive and shout insults at one of the casualties being rescued from the house. The insults are distressing the casualty. What do you do?

  • Do nothing - the crowd will get bored of shouting insults soon
  • Ask my manager what to do
  • Talk assertively to the crowd and tell them to move away from the scene because they are causing a disturbance
  • Ability Tests

    A Verbal Ability Test

    You will be asked to read a passage and to answer the questions that follow. In each of the questions you must decide which of the following answers is correct and mark the correct circle eg A, B, C or D on your answer sheet.


    If someone experiences a fire in their home there are a number of things they should consider after the fire has been put out by the Fire and Rescue Service. It may be that the home is no longer secure because doors or windows have been damaged. If this is the case, windows may need to be boarded up or doors may need to be replaced. The police or local council may be able to provide names of companies that can carry out this work. It may also be a good idea to remove valuables and important documents from the home until the home is made completely secure.

    1. According to the article

    A) The insurance company will want to see an accurate fire reportB) The local council will carry out work to make a home secure after a fireC) Fire damage can affect the security of a homeD) Homeowners should always consult a specialist-cleaning firm after a fire

    A Numerical Ability Test

    Number Skills tests consist of numerical problems for which quick and accurate calculations are required. For each question you calculate the answer and decide which of the four answers given is correct and mark the appropriate circle A, B, C or D.


    1.83 + 18 =10198110105
    2.13 x ? = 1179847
    3.58 - 22 =29363931
    4.49 + ? = 8540374236
    5.17 x 8 =122114103136


    For further help and preparation tips relating to psychometric tests, go to where you will be able to practice different kinds of ability, personality and SJT tests. You will be given a report on your scores and tips and advice regarding how to improve.

    Some people will inevitably realise that whilst they don't currently possess some of the core skills we need our Firefighters to have eg numerical skills. If you think this may be you, log onto to see if learndirect Scotland can help you develop those and any other skills you feel you need.

    People who do well on the tests usually go on to do well in the job itself

    Practical Selection Tests
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    The Practical Selection Tests (PSTs) are designed to assess whether candidates have the ability to carry out the more physical aspects of the role and therefore closely reflect the wide range of physical tasks carried out. The tests used are as follows:

    • Working in confined spaces test
    • Working at height test
    • Ladder lift test
    • Casualty evacuation test
    • Equipment assembly test
    • Equipment carry test

    Candidates are invited to a ½ day session to participate in each of these tests but must complete each one successfully prior to progressing to the next test.

    The tests are designed to assess whether candidates have the ability to carry out the more physical aspects of the role

    Competency Based Interview
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    Competency based interviews assess candidates against specific behavioural indicators. Research has shown that an effective indicator of future performance is to assess past performance. Your contribution in situations in terms of actions taken and behaviours demonstrated provides us with evidence of how you would react in similar activities within the Firefighter role.

    Your contribution in situations provides us with the evidence of how you would react in similar activities within the Firefighters role

    Medical & Fitness Assessments
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    We need to make sure that our Firefighters are both medically and physically fit. At the early stages of the process, we will ask you to complete a medical questionnaire so we can identify any particular medical conditions at an early stage. Examples of such conditions which any affect your ability to join us as a Firefighter are epilepsy and the use of hearing aids. In addition, you will require having our eyesight examination report completed by an optician so we can determine if your eyesight meets our requirements.

    This medical and fitness assessments comprise of 3 parts:

    Fitness Assessments

    If you are serious about becoming a Firefighter, you need to commit to ensuring you will be physically fit enough to join us once the selection process is complete.

    The specific physical fitness standard for firefighters in the UK Fire & Rescue Service is for Aerobic Fitness (VO2Max). Strathclyde Fire & Rescue has the facility to measure this standard through various methods but mainly through the use of the Chester Step Test in conjunction with a Gas Analyser (MedGraphics VO2000 Cardiorespiratory Diagnostic system). Candidates must attain a minimum level of 42mls/kg/min (predicted VO2Max) as a measure of aerobic fitness.

    More detailed fitness training advice and information can be obtained from the following websites and a generic fitness training programme can be downloaded at

    Most local authority leisure centres gyms have fitness staff who are able to provide advice and assistance on training programmes to suit candidates individual needs to assist them prepare for the fitness assessment.

    We assess fitness twice within the process. The initial assessment, the Multi-Stage Shuttle Run Test (MSSRT) is carried out on the same day as the ability tests. This allows us to assess whether your fitness is likely to be at the level required for entrance into the Service once the selection process is complete. The second assessment we carry out is either the Chester Step Test (CST) or the Chester Treadmill Walk Test (CTWT), along with a full medical examination after the Competency Based Interview.

    Our Guide to Fitness Assessments provide more detailed information on the test requirements.

    Multi-Stage Shuttle Run Test

    If you attain a level of 42mls/kg/min (predicted VO2Max) in this assessment, you will progress to the next stage of the process

    If you do not attain a minimum level of 34mls/kg/min (predicted VO2Max) in the initial assessment, as a measure of aerobic fitness will be not be able to progress to the next stage of the process. This is because it is highly unlikely that you would be able to reach the level required in the timescales set. If you attain a level of 34-41mls/kg/min (predicted VO2 Max) you will not be able to progress further within the process at this stage but may be invited to resit the test at a later date subject to our workforce planning requirements.

    Chester Step Test / Chester Treadmill Walk Test

    Candidates who attain a minimum level of 42mls/kg/min (predicted VO2Max) in this assessment and who satisfy our medical criteria will be offered an appointment as a Firefighter.

    Candidates who do not attain a minimum level of 42mls/kg/min (predicted VO2Max) in this assessment will not be offered an appointment. However candidates who attain a level of 34-41mls/kg/min (predicted VO2 Max) may be invited to resit the test at a later date subject to our workforce planning requirements. If this occurs we will also carry out a review of your previous assessment data to ensure it remains valid and continues to meet the standards required.

    Medical Assessment

    The medical element of the assessment will assess your general health and fitness against the required standard and will include a discussion on your completed medical questionnaire.

    In some cases, there may be occasions where we may need further information from your GP or you may have some physical injury. If this were the case any offer of appointment would be deferred pending a satisfactory report being received from your GP. Any subsequent offer of appointment would be subject to our need to recruit Firefighters at a future date and may require a review of your previous assessment data to ensure it remains valid and continues to meet the standards required.

    You need to commit to ensuring you will be physically fit enough to be a Firefighter

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    After each stage of the selection process, i.e. after each individual assessment, you will receive an e-mail inviting you to the next part of the process, or an e-mail informing you that, unfortunately, you have not been selected to continue on this occasion. Unfortunately, due to the significant volume of applications we typically receive during our recruitment campaigns, we will be unable to provide you with individual feedback reports detailing your specific scores or outcomes. We will only contact you to invite you to continue to the next stage or not.

    Summary and How to Apply
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    We are unlikely to be recruiting Wholetime Firefighters until 2011. However we hope that by going through these sections you will obtain an in-depth understanding of the role of a Firefighter and how we go about recruiting the right people for the role.

    We hope that after reviewing this information, you will have decided if a career with Strathclyde Fire and Rescue is for you and if so you will register to receive job alerts so we can inform you when our next recruitment campaign begins. All applications when we run campaigns will be online only.

    Please note we will not be accepting applications until this happens.

    If you require further information, please e-mail our HR Resourcing Team at or telephone 01698 402678.

    The Realistic Job Preview has been built in Adobe Flash. If you would prefer to view the HTML version please click here. .

    You can register to receive job alerts to advise you of when our next recruitment campaign starts by clicking here.

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    Site link:For the full job application please click here.
    Job ID:447


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