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Fancy being a firefighter? All you need to know as Norfolk applications open

PUBLISHED: 06:30 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:37 06 August 2018

Wholetime recruits in spring this year. Picture: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

Wholetime recruits in spring this year. Picture: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

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People in Norfolk can take the first step towards a career in the emergency services after applications for full-time firefighter posts opened.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Councils communities committee. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives.Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Councils communities committee. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has opened the application process for the roles today, and plans to keep them open for three weeks.

It comes after a string of taster sessions around the county, which saw more than 260 people attend in Norwich, King’s Lynn in Gorleston and turn a hand to practice drills, written tests and fitness requirements.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: “The work of the modern firefighter is very demanding and varied, as we have seen from the weather pressures in recent weeks which have seen our firefighters rise to the challenge of a huge increase in open fires as well as their continued attendance at day to day incidents.

“This latest application process shows our continued investment in recruiting the best candidates to the service and making it representative of the communities it serves.

“As well as dealing with blazes, Norfolk’s firefighters assist with rescuing people and animals from a wide variety of situations, responding to flood and storm threats, providing emergency medical care and educating the public on fire safety. And anything else that comes their way, it’s certainly not your average nine to five job.”

She said they particularly welcomed applications from groups which are underrepresented in the service - including women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The service may close applications early if they receive a significant number before the scheduled closing date.

Anyone interested in applying can visit here.

It comes alongside a similar drive to recruit on-call firefighters, who work part-time - often alongside other careers - at 39 of the county’s 42 stations. 
To find out more about the on-call opportunities, click here.

The service is currently the subject of a consultation as to whether it should be taken under police and crime commissioner control.

Consultation details can be found here.

These are some of the frequently asked questions about becoming a firefighter on Norfolk County Council’s website.

What qualifications do I need?

A minimum of five GCSEs grade A to C including English and maths, or a recognised equivalent.

Do men and women share facilities?

No, all stations have separate facilities for male and female firefighters.

Do I need to be able to swim?

Ideally, yes. You need to be able to swim 50 metres for your own safety and that of others.

Is there a height limit?

No.

Do I have to shave off my beard?

Unfortunately, yes. The service respects your religious needs however as a firefighter you will be required to wear a facemask when you are wearing breathing apparatus.

To ensure that the facemask forms a seal around the face, it is necessary to keep the face clean shaven to prevent any dangerous airborne chemicals entering the facemask.

How much will I get paid during my initial training course?

You will be paid £22,237 which is the current rate for trainee firefighters. Once you have completed the course this increases to £23,162 while you are in development. Once you are fully competent this increases to £29,638.

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