On this page, you will learn more about the role of a firefighter in Greater Manchester, our recruitment processes, and volunteering opportunities. If you’re interested in joining us – read on!
View all the vacancies currently available across the Greater Manchester family, including Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.
We have so many different opportunities for everyone to get involved, whether you’re looking to meet new people, develop your skills, improve your CV or build on your knowledge, you can do this all whilst volunteering for one of the largest fire and rescue services in the UK.
We also run a number of programmes, including a cadet scheme, designed to help young people reach their full potential.
A core part of the role is to respond to emergencies and save lives. As well as fighting fires, firefighters attend other emergencies such as road, rail and air traffic accidents, chemical spills, floods, and terror attacks.
We place a firm emphasis on fire prevention, and our firefighters spend a great deal of time promoting fire safety within the community. Through our free Safe and Well checks, firefighters visit homes, assess their risk from fire, check smoke alarms, and advise people on how best to plan their escape routes in case of fire.
Firefighters carry out building inspections to make sure that local businesses are complying with fire safety regulations. They also work closely with other public services and community organisations to promote important fire and water safety advice.
You can find out more about Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service through our social media channels:
Our recruitment process can vary depending on the number of applications we have received, but the below gives you some example of the steps you’ll need to go through to become a firefighter. It can sometimes take a long time to hear back, so please be patient, but don’t give up!
To register your interest in working with us, from volunteering in our communities, to working as a firefighter in our emergency response teams, contact us using the details below.
We will keep your information on file until we’re ready to recruit, and let you know about taster sessions and other opportunities.
Our ‘taster days’ give you an opportunity to test out your physical fitness, speak to our firefighters, and find out more. We get to learn a fair bit about you too! If you’re serious about becoming a firefighter in Greater Manchester, you have to attend a taster day. You won’t be eligible to apply to be a firefighter if you have not taken part in one of these sessions.
We email everyone who has expressed their interest in working with us, letting them know about when the taster days are being held. Places are limited, however, and are booked on a first come, first served basis.
Our taster days are usually held in the run up to going live with a recruitment drive.
The application form asks you a series of questions based on how competent you are, and our values and behaviours. You will only be sent an application form if you have attended a taster day and then been marked as eligible to apply. (Internal candidates can apply without attending a taster day.)
As soon as the recruitment window closes, we begin to shortlist and prepare for further testing. This is done ‘blind’, which means we remove all names and references to personal attributes such as age, race, religion etc.
This important test consists of a series of physical activities that are either timed or simply marked pass/fail. Tests include: bleep test, ladder lift, ladder climb, casualty evacuation, enclosed space test using breathing apparatus, equipment assembly dexterity test, and equipment carry test.
Maths and English
Candidates are also required to sit a basic maths and English test called a functional skills test. The minimum pass rate for this test is Level 2. We recommend that you research online for skills level 2 practice tests, to give yourself the opportunity to try some out first, before carrying out the real test and your physical assessment.
As well as carrying out physical and mental tests, applicants will need to carry out a number of “competency” interviews with both operational and non-operational staff. You may also be asked to take part in a group exercise, role play, or presentation.
A competency-based interview is our way of finding out more about your previous experience and any key skills you already have which would make you a good candidate for becoming a firefighter. If you have not taken part in a competency-based interview before, do some research on these in advance to find out more about how they work and the best way to respond.
Our firefighters need to be ready for anything, and because of this our medical checks are rigorous and comprehensive. Getting this far is good news though as it generally happens towards the end of the recruitment process! We test your eyesight, hearing, lung function, blood pressure, heart rate, physical stamina, and weight.
Nearly there! All candidates given a conditional offer of employment will begin their “on-boarding” process, which includes a medical, reference check, and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. All applicants are obliged to disclose all convictions and cautions, no matter how long ago they occurred and regardless of whether the offences were committed as an adult or a juvenile. Please note that a criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from being employed with us – it all depends on the circumstances and background to any offence. Subject to these checks going smoothly, candidates will then begin their 16-week initial firefighter training course.
If you have any further questions about the recruitment process for the role of Firefighter at GMFRS, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, using ‘Firefighter Recruitment Query’ in the subject heading.