Shropshire Star

This is what it really takes to be a firefighter in Shropshire

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a firefighter?


My dream of a job in the emergency services (police dog handler to be precise) was dashed when at a careers fair at school in the 1970s I was told there was a minimum height requirement of 5'4". Thank goodness that requirement was dropped in 1990.

But I was intrigued when Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service announced it was recruiting wholetime firefighters and put on its website practice tests for those interested. I set out to see if I had, at least the non physical skills to go forward to apply.

I might get myself fit but a look at the practical tests undertaken in full protective kit and I realised I couldn't have passed even when I was half my age.

The kind of fitness expected from a firefighter

A spokesperson said: "Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service are looking for individuals who have the compassion to help people at their most vulnerable, individuals who have the courage to go in one direction when all around them are going in the other and individuals who have the communication skills to engage with all sectors of our community."

Applications for those who are interested close at midday on February 5.

If you go online to there is a plethora of information about the role, what it takes and the full recruitment process.

The services says that the common image of fire and rescue services is traditionally one of firefighters turning out in fire appliances and fighting fires.

"Some work absolutely involves attendance at fires, but the role of the Service, particularly in Shropshire is much wider, " a spokesperson said.

"Greater emphasis has been placed on the Fire and Rescue Service's role within the community, with firefighters spending more time raising awareness, conducting home safety assessments,

communicating fire prevention and other safety messages. Work and training is geared to responding at top speed to emergency calls, regardless of weather conditions or time of day or night.