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Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service

On-call Firefighter Recruitment.

Are you able to respond from your home or workplace within 8 minutes to your nearest fire station? 

Fancy joining our fire family? 

Why not be an on-call Firefighter? 

An on-call firefighter responds to a range of emergencies. They do everyday jobs until the call comes, they then become professional firefighters. 

You will be fully trained and capable to work on the front line, saving lives and protecting your community.


On-call firefighters are paid for their services. 

On-call firefighters don’t just fight fires - you would be involved in a wide variety of situations which could include incidents ranging from floods, road traffic collisions and chemical spills to retrieving pets from awkward situations. 

Poster for recruiting on-call firefighters

What qualities do you need? 

We are keen to recruit both men and women and previous experience is not required thanks to our comprehensive training programme. 

What is important is that you are enthusiastic and can meet certain essential requirements. One of these is that you must be able to respond quickly to the fire station after being alerted by your pager. The job of a firefighter can be physically demanding and therefore your personal fitness is of the utmost importance. 

"I enjoy being an On-call firefighter as it means I get to serve and protect the local community where I live and work. The flexibility of being On-call allows me to run my business and be a firefighter at the same time. Keeping people safe means a lot to me.

It's not just about putting fires out; we do Safe and Wellbeing visits, where we offer advice to keep people safe in their homes and reduce the risk of fire. We engage with schools in the area and speak to pupils about fire safety and we attend many different emergency incidents such as fires, road traffic collisions, chemical spillages and rescues."

Watch Manager Cindy Crossman 
Takeaway owner and On-call Firefighter 


Recruitment Tests

Recruitment Tests - Bleep test
Recruitment Tests - Ladder climb
Recruitment Tests - Enclosed space
Recruitment Tests - Equipment carry
Recruitment Tests - Exercises

To become a firefighter, you must pass a range of recruitment tests. Take a look at the videos below to see what's expected of potential new recruits. 

What’s the recruitment process?

Please note: to apply you must live close to your local fire station and be able to get there within 8 mins.

Stage 1 - Fill in the enquiry form below:



Every enquiry will be looked at individually – all we ask is, just be honest and tell us about you. If you are eligible you’ll move to Stage 2. 

Stage 2 - We will contact you and invite you to complete our online application form.

Stage 3 – This is the big one! You’ll be asked to attend our practical test day. 

The videos above will show you what you will be asked to do. If you get through the tests, you’ll move to Stage 4. 

Stage 4 – Written Assessments 

Examples of the written tests can be found here

Stage 5 – Interview 

You’ll be interviewed by two or three staff, who will ask a series of questions based around:

1) Information about you, your knowledge, and past experiences?

2) Why you want to be a Firefighter?

3) What do you know about the role of a Firefighter?

4) What can you bring to the role?


Remember – be yourself! Pass the interview, your through to Stage 6.

Stage 6 – Fitness 

See our videos above for some tips and hints on some exercises that will help you prepare in advance for this stage. 

Stage 7 – Medical 

At this stage you’ll be invited to attend our Occupational Health Centre for a medical. This includes the following tests: 

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) 

  • Blood pressure 

  • Lung function and breathing 

  • Urine sample

  • Eyesight and hearing 

  • Drug and alcohol

  • Grip strength 

Stage 8 - References and DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks 

You should provide two references on your application – one personal and one business from your latest employer. You will also have to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS)  

Stage 9 – Well done, you’re on the course! 

So now, relax, enjoy and look forward to starting your training! 

Firefighters responding to a overturned car on some rocks with lots of equipment

Recruitment Process

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion


Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is committed to equality of opportunity and diversity in employment. We welcome applications from all sectors of the community and we aim to recruit a diverse workforce that reflects the communities we serve.

Women and ethnic minorities are under-represented within the service and are therefore actively encouraged to apply for positions that become available.

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