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Wholetime firefighters work full time from a fire station.

We recruit wholetime firefighters across Hertfordshire when there's demand or vacancies.



Who can apply?

You must:

  • be over 18 when the recruit course is due to start - there's no upper age limit
  • live in an eligible postcode (PDF 41kb)
  • have a full UK driving licence for manual cars (category B), with your current address on. What we need and why (PDF 86kb).
  • have a GCSE A*-C (9-4) grade in both English and maths or an equivalent qualification. What we need and why (PDF 107kb).
  • not have any unspent criminal convictions (if you have a criminal record, you must let us know in your application).

There are no height requirements.

You need to maintain a level of fitness and will be tested during the selection process. Find out more:

Fitness, disabilities and medical conditions

On-call firefighters

If you're successful in the selection process, your on-call contract will be suspended during training.

Armed forces - current and former

If you're currently serving outside our eligible postcodes, you can still apply - just contact us first at

We've signed up to the Armed Forced Covenant to treat those who serve in the armed forces, or who have served, with fairness and respect.

To make sure everyone has an equal chance of applying, we don't make special provisions for current or former military personnel.

Your experience may help you with discipline and fitness, but there's much more to the role of a modern firefighter.

There's no process for direct transfer into the Fire and Rescue Service, just as there's no process for firefighters to transfer directly into the military.

If you've applied, or worked, for another fire service

If you've completed a selection process with another fire service, you'll still need to complete our process, so all applicants are assessed the same way.

If you work for another fire service, take a look at our wholetime transfer opportunities.

Foreign nationals

We welcome applicants of any nationality. However:

Tattoos, piercings and facial hair

We accept candidates with tattoos, unless they could be construed as discriminatory, violent, intimidating or offensive to any religion or belief - regardless of where they appear on your body.

We accept candidates with body piercings, but they must be removed when on duty. For health and safety reasons, we won't accept candidates with cavities from body modifications (such as flesh tunnels or ear stretchers) unless they can be surgically corrected.

You must keep most of your face and neck free of hair or stubble because it affects the seal of our breathing apparatus. You can have facial hair that doesn't interfere with the seal, like a moustache or a small goatee.

We're an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all parts of the community.


What would I be doing?

  • Responding to emergency situations, including road accidents, chemical incidents, fires and rescues.
  • Educating people on how to prevent fires and how to protect themselves.
  • Home fire safety visits.
  • Being a positive role model and taking part in educational schemes like Princes Trust, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and LiFe courses.
  • Working with other emergency services to solve problems.


How much would I earn per year?

  • £22,908 during your 16 week training course (£10.46 per hour)
  • £23,862 after your training course (£10.90 per hour)
  • £30,533 once you achieve a relevant qualification and are signed off as a fully competent firefighter (£13.94 per hour)

Overtime is paid at 1.5x the basic hourly rate. We pay fringe allowance in some areas of the county, after training.

How much do other firefighting roles pay? (JPEG, 108kb)


What are the working hours and holidays?

Firefighters are contracted to work 42 hours a week, including unsociable hours and weekends. This is usually a shift rota of:

  • 4 days on, 4 days off
  • 2 day shifts 09:00 – 18:00 and 2 night shifts 18:00 – 09:00.

We might need you to work other shift patterns. We'll discuss this with candidates who are offered places on the training course.

You'll get 30 days annual leave plus eight public holidays per year.


Where would I be based?

Once you complete your basic training, you may be posted to any fire station in Hertfordshire. This will depend on the service needs at the time.


What happens after I apply?

Engagement session

If you meet our key requirements (see above: who can apply?) we'll invite you to an engagement session at a fire station. You can:

  • find out about the recruitment process, requirements and training
  • take part in a fitness session
  • ask our firefighters questions.

Assessment of potential

This is the first assessment stage. All assessments take place at the Joint Emergency Services Academy in Stevenage.

You'll get an overview of the recruitment process, requirements and training, followed by 3 pass-or-fail assessments:

Selection tests and interview

Please bring your driving licence and GCSE (or equivalent) maths and English certificates.

You will have 8 pass-or-fail assessments:

  • 7 tests of your fitness, dexterity and equipment handling.
  • If you pass the physical tests, you'll have a 30 minute interview. We'll send you details of how to prepare in advance.

Uniform fitting appointment

You will have a 30 minute fitting appointment for your free uniform and equipment, in Hertford.


You'll have a medical appointment with our occupational health department, which you must pass. You'll need to complete some medical questionnaires and an optician's report before the appointment.

Please bring photo ID and documents on any medical conditions (such as letters from a GP or specialist).

The medical is in 3 stages:

  • medical tests with the occupational health adviser
  • a doctor's examination and DVLA paperwork
  • a fitness test with the service fitness adviser.

We'll check the following:

  • drugs test - we'll take a urine sample.
  • height and weight
  • blood pressure and pulse
  • your lungs
  • your hearing and eyesight (if required)
  • palpation of the abdomen
  • your reflexes.

No medical information is released to the service - we're just advised on whether you're fit enough for us to employ you. Your information will be held confidentially in the medical department and used as a baseline for your medicals, every 3 years.

Call our occupational health department on 01438 847316 if you have any concerns or questions.

Induction day

A full day at the Joint Emergency Services Academy in Stevenage, 2-3 weeks before your training course. You will:

  • meet instructors and support staff
  • get an overview of the course and the commitment required
  • get your uniform, equipment and resources.

16 week basic training course

We plan to run 2 or 3 training courses in 2020. The first is due to start on 6 January 2020. We'll publish details of future courses soon.

Training programme (PDF 320kb)



After training, we will enroll you on the operational firefighter apprenticeship.

If you're already a competent civilian, aviation, military or on-call firefighter, we will enroll you on a level 3 diploma in emergency fire services operations in the community within two years.

There's no cost for these qualifications.

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