Is there an age limit to apply for the Wholetime firefighter recruitment process?
There is no upper age limit, however you must be at least 17 years and 6 months at the time of application to ensure you turn 18 by the time you commence training.
Are there any minimum or maximum height restrictions for a firefighter?
No, there is no minimum or maximum height requirement to becoming a firefighter.
Are there any geographical restrictions to this recruitment process?
No, this is a national recruitment campaign.
I am currently a firefighter within another Service – can I apply for a transfer?
You are more than welcome to apply to this process alongside the other applicants. If you are offered a role with DWFRS, a skills gap analysis will then be carried out and conversion training will be arranged to bring your competencies into line with this Service. If we run a transfer process, this will be advertised separately.
I am currently a Watch/Crew Manager within my current Service – if I were successful in this process could I be offered a Watch/Crew Manager position with DWFRS?
No, as part of this recruitment process we are only recruiting to firefighter vacancies. However, if you successfully gain a firefighter role with DWFRS you will be able to apply to future internal promotion processes.
Why do you encourage applications from women and people from BAME backgrounds?
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is an equal opportunities employer and we are committed to putting equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of everything we do.
We are committed to ensuring that our workforce reflects the community we serve. At the present time this is not the case as women, and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and the LGBTQ community are under-represented within our operational service and the wider workforce does not reflect the ethnic diversity within our communities.
To support our inclusive approach, we carry out various activities to positively attract those from under-represented groups such as women and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and the LGBTQ community to see that becoming a firefighter could be the career for them. By diversifying our workforce, we will gain the benefits that this brings in terms of reflecting our community, a wider variety of skills, creativity, innovation, and an increased cultural insight into the communities we serve.
I am unable to attend the specified dates for the selection process – can I reschedule?
Unfortunately, candidates must be available to attend all elements of the selection process as part of the recruitment campaign, we are usually unable to offer any rescheduled dates.
I currently hold a provisional driving licence, can I still apply?
No, you must hold a full driving licence at the point of application, we are unable to accept applications from candidates who hold provisional licences, including candidates who have driving tests booked in the near future.
My passport is currently out of date but I do have a valid driving licence, will this be OK?
In order to satisfy the photo identification requirement, as long as your driving licence is a current full UK photo-card driving licence and not the old paper version, this will be an acceptable form of photo identification.
As long as you still resemble the photo in your expired (UK/EU) passport, this will be acceptable ID to prove you have the right to work in the UK, however we will need two valid forms of ID to be able to apply for your DBS check if you are successful. Please contact [email protected] if you are not sure whether you have adequate ID documents.
I have a medical condition – can I still apply for this process?
Yes – full details of our fitness medical and eyesight requirements can be found here. All successful applicants will be required to pass the fitness, medical and eyesight tests and suitability for the role is decided by the Service Doctor based on all information available to them at the time.
I am diagnosed asthmatic, but it does not affect me. Will this prevent me from taking part in the fitness test?
As you have stated that you have been diagnosed asthmatic, it would be advisable to get a note from your GP stating that you are OK to take part in the fitness test.
You will still need to complete the PAR-Q form, and bring it along to the fitness test, along with all the other relevant documents that are required on the day.
I wear glasses / contact lenses or have had laser eye surgery, can I still apply?
Provided you meet the eyesight requirements. Firefighters are permitted to wear glasses and/or soft contact lenses. All successful applicants will be required to pass an eyesight test as part of their medical.
I am colour blind, can I still apply?
Colour blindness is not an automatic bar to recruitment. However, certain types may preclude you due to not being compatible with safety critical work. Protanopia, deuteranopia, monochromatism and tritanopia/tritanomaly are unfit for service as a firefighter. For colour blindness types outside the above, further specialist testing may need to be carried out prior to a decision being made on entry into the Service.
I have a hearing impairment, can I still apply?
All successful applicants must pass a medical test which will include a hearing test. Applicants for firefighting who meet the H2 standard should be considered fit for role. Applicants who score lower than H2 may be required to undertake additional functional testing before a decision on fitness can be determined.
I am dyslexic, can I still apply?
Yes you can still apply, however we do ask whether you would require any reasonable adjustments to participate in this process. If this is the case you must outline what, if any, reasonable adjustments you require. We will need to see evidence from your specialist outlining the requirement for your reasonable adjustment.
I have a criminal conviction, can I still apply?
You will not be able to commence the role until a satisfactory Disclosure Certificate has been received. If the Disclosure Certificate highlights any convictions which are unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, the application will be referred to the HR Resourcing and Workforce Planning Manager to review and assess whether the candidate is suitable for the role.
I already hold Maths and English qualifications at Level 2, do I still have to do the online tests?
Yes, usually our recruitment process requires all applicants to complete the same process, this includes the online Ability Tests measuring Verbal, Numerical, and Mechanical reasoning.
If I do not successfully pass the bleep test will I get the opportunity to re-take this?
We are unable to offer the opportunity to re-take any element of the recruitment process, however we have extensive information including training guides you may choose to undertake in preparation for the fitness test here.
Are there different fitness requirements for men and women?
No – all our firefighters need to have the same level of fitness as they need to carry out the same tasks.
Would a payslip be sufficient evidence of my National Insurance number?
You will need to bring along an official document which shows your National Insurance number to the fitness test. Examples of these are: P45, P60, National Insurance Card, National Insurance Letter.
I have tattoos / piercings, can I still apply?
Provided your tattoos are not deemed offensive or contradictory to the Service’s values or public image, it is acceptable to have tattoos which are visible. However, facial tattoos are not generally permitted as it is felt they may detract from the positive public image of the Service. An assessment would be made on an individual basis to take into account religious and cultural beliefs. You will be asked to remove piercings as a matter of health & safety to participate in the recruitment process or during working hours if you are successfully appointed, however this will not prevent you from applying.
I have a beard, can I still apply?
Firefighters must be cleanly shaven in order for breathing apparatus to make a seal for safety reasons. If your facial hair has a religious significance, we require that facial hair must be removed from areas where a BA mask seals on the face in order to achieve a satisfactory seal.
If I am successfully offered a role, how long is the training course?
The initial basic skills training course usually runs for eight weeks, Monday – Friday. Further training will continue thereafter.
How will I be contacted throughout this process?
Most communication will be via email, therefore please ensure you check your emails regularly, including junk and spam folders.
Will I be able to request a specific station to work at?
No, you are not able to request a specific station to work at. If you are successful and offered a post, as part of your contract you will be required to work throughout the Service area of Dorset and Wiltshire. However, you are able to select a geographical area as a preference, which we will consider when making initial postings. You will need to remain at your initial posting for a minimum of three years, subject to the needs of the Service.
What are the wholetime shift patterns like?
Most of our wholetime stations (Swindon, Stratton, Salisbury, Weymouth, Redhill Park, Springbourne, Westbourne and Christchurch) operate on a shift system, also known as 2-2-4.
Staff are assigned to one of four watches, working a 42-hour week over an eight-week cycle; this involves two day shifts of 8am to 6pm, then two night shifts of 6pm to 8am. The remainder of that fourth day and the next three full days are then rest days.
Please see our website here for further details.
What is the pass mark for the online assessments?
Applicants will receive an email informing them whether they have been successful at each stage of the online tests.
Due to the high volume of applications we receive we are not able to provide applicants with individual results or feedback from the assessments.