On call firefighter Shahbaz Shah

Firefighting in Lancashire

Firefighting is a varied, rewarding and challenging role that involves far more than responding to fires.

It offers a career to be proud of. With a structured career pathway and excellent training and learning opportunities, today’s firefighter could be tomorrow’s chief fire officer.

This page features information about what it takes to be a firefighter. To learn more, you can also visit our page on wholetime firefighter recruitment [opens in a new tab].

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    What do you need to be a firefighter?

    firefighter wearing breathing apparatus

    • A mature and balanced outlook.
    • The ability to deal sensitively with members of the public in difficult and emotional situations.
    • The ability to function under pressure, often with great courage and in distressing circumstances.
    • Brilliant team working skills.
    • The ability to accept change.
    • A high standard of self-discipline.
    • Punctuality, dependability and commitment with the ability to take orders and follow instructions.
    • Ability to pick up new skills and retain information quickly and accurately.
    • Prepared to work unsociable hours, including night shifts, weekends and public holidays; and to work outside in all types of weather.
    • Ability to communicate clearly both verbally and in writing.
    • High standards of personal fitness and stamina with a capacity for rapid, intense, and sustained efforts.
    • Self-confidence, enthusiasm, initiative, tenacity, and common sense.

    FAQs About Being a firefighter

    For more information, please contact us on 01772 862545​​​​.

    Alternatively, visit our page on wholetime firefighter recruitment [opens in a new tab].

    • Do you have to be fit to be a firefighter?

      Firefighters come in all shapes and sizes. While you do have to be physically fit, good technique can really help. The role can be extremely physical and involve working is a vast array of situations and environments. Tasks that firefighters may carry out at incidents include:

      • Running out lines of hose.

      • Climbing stairs of high rise buildings.

      • Pitching heavy ladders.

      • Hauling equipment outside of buildings using ropes.

    • Do I have to be a certain height or weight to apply?

      No. Candidates will be expected to pass strength and fitness tests as part of the recruitment process and these are at a level achievable for both men and women of all different sizes and builds.

    • Are there any essential qualifications to apply?

      None, however your skills in relation to numeracy and literacy will be assessed as part of the recruitment process.

    • I wear glasses/have had laser eye surgery, can I apply?

      Yes. Part of the recruitment process will include a medical and this will include an eye test. Our Occupational Health Physician will determine whether your vision meets the standards to become a firefighter. You will be required to take up to date eyesight test results to your medical appointment.

      The national recruitment standards for firefighters require firefighters to have: Uncorrected distance vision no worse than 6/18 in the better eye and 6/24 in the worse eye. Corrected distance acuity should be at least 6/9 with both eyes open and reach 6/12 in the weaker eye.

    • I have a disability, can I apply?

      Yes, anyone who considers they have a disability can apply to join the fire service.

      You will be asked if you have a disability as part of the recruitment process and to provide details of any reasonable adjustments that you may require to take part in the selection process and to fulfil the role of a firefighter. Each case will be considered on an individual basis.

    • What is the minimum age you can apply to become a Firefighter?

      You must be at least 18 years of age at the start of the training course.

    • Do I need a driving licence?

      Yes, the Service requires wholetime firefighters to provide cover anywhere in the county at short notice, therefore we ask for a driving licence as part of the essential criteria.

    • Is it OK to have a tattoo or body piercing?

      In the interests of health and safety, all piercings must be removed before starting operational duty. Tattoos are acceptable providing they could not be deemed as offensive. Tattoos are automatically unacceptable if they are rude, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, or violent.

    • What if I have Asthma?

      It won’t necessarily prevent you from becoming a firefighter. Your condition will be assessed at the medical stage by our occupational health unit (OHU).

    • What is the salary for a firefighter?

      As at 1.7.21, a trainee firefighter who commences a wholetime recruit’s course will commence on a salary of £24,191. On successful completion of the wholetime recruits course, the individual will progress to being in development on a salary of £25,198. Further to additional training and on achieving competency (this may take up to a maximum of 2 years) the salary will increase to (currently) £32,244. Additional allowances are paid depending on the working shift system adopted.