Become a firefighter

Firefighters are ordinary people who do extraordinary things, helping to keep our communities safe.

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Could you be a firefighter?

Firefighters are ordinary people who do extraordinary things - all for the benefit of their communities.

Traditionally, firefighters are seen as responding to fires and rescuing people.

But most of their time is actually dedicated to community fire safety activities, which we call ‘prevention’. The best way to fight fire is to stop it starting in the first place - mainly by educating and informing the public.

As a firefighter you’ll find yourself working with schools, community groups and other organisations. Being able to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people is important. As is treating everyone with dignity and respect.

You’ll also need to support members of the public when they’re distressed and confused, show empathy, solve problems and use your initiative.

A firefighter and young boy bumping fists at a station open day

Essential Criteria

To become a West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) firefighter you must:

  • be at least 18 when you apply

  • live in the area we cover (postcode and proof of address will be required)

  • be physically fit to meet the requirements of the role.

If you have applied previously and been unsuccessful, you must wait 12 months before applying again.

Desired

Part of a firefighter's job is to be able to drive brigade vehicles (including fire engines).

Blue light training will be provided. It is likely that you will be required to work from a variety of fire stations across the West Midlands.

Whilst not essential for application purposes, as a firefighter you will be required to hold a full UK driving license in order to carry out the driving element of the role. However, it is not essential that you have a full UK driving license to apply.

Security

A full Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be completed, prior to offer of contract, for successful candidates.

It is your responsibility to inform us of any additional or outstanding criminal convictions during the recruitment process.

The role of a firefighter

The role of a firefighter is exciting, varied and challenging. Every day is different. Their work falls into three key categories:

Prevention

Our firefighters have a key part in educating our communities, to try to make everyone safer, stronger and healthier.

They spend a considerable amount of their day carrying our Safe and Well visits to vulnerable people’s homes, delivering safety sessions at schools and visiting local businesses to deliver our Safe and Strong service.

Find out more about prevention

Protection

Our protection work is all about making businesses and the economy stronger and our communities safer.

Our firefighters visit high-risk and tall buildings, including flats, hospitals, schools and vulnerable businesses to keep safe and reassure those who live, work or visit.

Find out more about protection

Response

Our professional, full-time firefighters respond assertively, effectively and safely to a wide variety of incidents, 24/7.

Based on evidence and our knowledge of risk, we know that our five-minute attendance standard for serious incidents in high-risk areas saves lives, homes and businesses.

We have an excellent track record of increasing public safety and working with other agencies and organisations – all for the benefit of our communities.

Find out more about response

Starting your journey

To find out about the application process, your training journey and what to expect, watch our linked video here which details each step.

You can also find more detail about the assessment and selection process, training and development, salary and benefits and our equality and diversity policy and commitments below.

Training and development

We detail the training and development of our firefighter candidates on the dedicated page linked below. 

You can also watch our YouTube playlist linked here where we followed trainee firefighter Course 04/2022 on their 8-week intensive training programme to become firefighters with West Midlands Fire Service

Note: Our training courses for firefighters from 2023 onwards are now 12 weeks.

Find out more about training and development

How to apply

So, if you like what you've read and think we're describing you, we want you to apply! 

We operate a rolling recruitment programme, with each course taking approximately 12 weeks.

If you’d like a new and exciting opportunity - and to make a real difference in your community - click the 'Apply to be a firefighter' button below to apply and start your journey!

Apply to be a firefighter

Have questions?

We get asked a lot of questions by prospective candidates. Most of the commonly asked questions are in our 'frequently asked questions page'. So please visit that, via the button below, before contacting us, as we may already have the answer for you! 

If you need to ask a question we don't have listed, or any other enquiry, please email us via the address below.

Visit our frequently asked questions

If you have any queries, please email opportunities@wmfs.net

3 Trainee Firefighters carrying hose reels
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