Firefighter role is ‘demanding’ but also ‘rewarding’

The county's fire service is looking to recruit new firefighters, with its chief officer calling for "compassionate" and "courageous" applicants.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is looking for new firefighters
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is looking for new firefighters

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service opens the recruitment on Monday, November 9 at 10am, and will be launching a social media campaign as of this Monday to encourage people to sign up for the service – and tell them what is required.

Chief Fire Officer Rod Hammerton said the roles are "dangerous" and "demanding", but "rewarding".

He said: "It's extremely satisfying to be in a position to save lives and help others in need.”

The selection process will involve a number of tests, including physical and practical.

Mr Hammerton said: “There is much more to the role of a firefighter than people might think, it’s very much about personal qualities rather than sheer fitness and strength.

“Our job is to make Shropshire safer and we need people who are compassionate enough to deal calmly with someone when they are having their worst day, courageous enough to go into difficult situations when others are going in the other.

Varied

“One moment they might be rescuing someone from a road crash or a burning bedroom, later they might be supporting a vulnerable person in their home or speaking to 100 school children about fire prevention.

“It’s a varied role that needs a balance of skills, people who are confident and calm working in highly dangerous and stressful situations, can be part of a team and engage and educate everyone in society, helping the most vulnerable stay safe.

“The selection process is highly competitive, designed to assess all these qualities plus many others.

“The fire service is an incredibly rewarding career. One that offers continuous development, a great work/life balance and an environment where teams thrive and I would encourage everyone to visit our website to learn more and see if it’s a job for them.

“The role is both demanding and rewarding and can be dangerous, but it's extremely satisfying to be in a position to save lives and help others in need.”

The service's head of human resources, Germaine Worker, said they were expecting a considerable number of applications.

She said: “Recruitment for the fire service is very different to other fields.

Skill

“We have thousands of applications for only a limited number of positions and have to plan to replace firefighters that are leaving in the next 12 months. It’s not as simple as ‘one in one out’ as we have to replace specific skill sets.

“As such, the selection process is rigorous to make sure the right candidates are chosen based on their skills, abilities and also personal values to help support the extensive work we carry out in the community alongside the incredibly challenging work responding to incidents.

“The website has lots of resources to help people understand the process and what’s expected of them to guide them through the stages.”

The service said that due to the anticipated volume of candidates, applicants have been restricted to specific postcodes areas – Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, West Midlands (including Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, and Wolverhampton), Cheshire, Wrexham, and Powys.

The recruitment portal will only be open from 10am on Monday, November 9, until midnight on Sunday, November 15.

People can find out more information at www.shropshirefire.gov.uk/recruitment.

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