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If I’m not successful in applying to be a firefighter, when can I apply again?

If you were unsuccessful in an application to be a firefighter with us, you can apply again in 12 month from your notification from us that you were not successful.

Due to the application process requiring a national insurance number, which you would have already entered on your previous application, the system may show an error stating the NI number has already been used. If you experience this difficulty, please email our recruitment team at with your details and this can be reset for you.

What shift patterns do firefighters work?

Most of our operational firefighters work a standard shift pattern from 08:00 until 18:00 on a ‘tour’ of two days, two nights then four days off.

Each crew typically has 4 watches, which are identified by different colours – Red, Green, Blue and White.

Each core watch follows the same pattern of two days, two nights then four days off, but the starting days are staggered for each watch so we have cover 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

For example: Red Watch might start their tour on Monday, Green Watch would start on Wednesday and so on.

We also have ‘lates’ crews that work at some of our stations and they work 4 days on and 4 days off, working 10:00-22:00 each working day. The lates watch colours are Orange and Purple.

How long is the wait for firefighter applications to be processed?

Our recruitment process is done in cycles, so there can be a wait time of up to 8-10 weeks between each cycle. While we work as quickly as we can to process the different stages of application, assessment days and so on, we get a large number of applicants so different stages can take longer than expected. If you have sent in an application, please be patient.

We apologise for any delay and rest assured the team will be in touch as soon as they can.

What if my national insurance number has already been used to apply?

When trying to apply to be a firefighter for us, you need to enter a national insurance number. If you’ve applied before, you may get an error saying your national insurance number has already been used and won’t allow you to continue.

Our teams can unlock this for you, provided the appropriate time has passed since your previous application. Please email your details and the issue you’re experiencing to and they can do this for you.