Fire and rescue workers respond to emergency situations and help to rescue people and property from a range of accidents and disasters. They are also involved in making areas safer by minimising the risks caused by fire and other dangerous hazards. The job of a fire and rescue worker is both physically and mentally demanding. Read this article to learn what it takes to work in a career of this kind.
Skills and personal qualities
To acquire a career in fire and rescue, you will need to be able to use your problem solving skills to resolve issues quickly and effectively. You may be required to tackle fires, rescue members of the public from buildings that are on fire, deal with chemical spillages and respond to road traffic incidences. To work in fire and rescue, you must be able to cope with members of the public who may be in a distressed and confused state of mind. As a fire and rescue worker, you will work closely with the general public to increase the awareness of risks and to prevent incidents, such as home fires, from occurring. This means that being able to communicate to schools, community groups and voluntary organisations is essential. All fire and rescue workers must be able to treat an individual with care, dignity and respect, irrespective of their background or culture.
There are three main types of entry requirements that prospective fire and rescue workers must pass to secure a career in this field of work. Physical tests During the selection process, you will be asked to undertake physical tests so that your potential employer can assess your fitness, strength, manual dexterity and your self-confidence. All prospective fire and rescue workers will be expected to partake in the following tests: Ladder Climb Casualty Evacuation Ladder Lift / Lower Simulation Enclosed Spaces Equipment Assembly Equipment Carry. Your eyesight and general health will also be assessed. Upon entering into fire and rescue jobs, you will be expected to maintain your fitness levels by exercising regularly and consuming a healthy diet. This is because the work you will have to undertake is physically demanding. Psychological tests You will also be expected to complete timed tests assessing your ability to: Work with Numbers Understanding Information Problem Solve Be Situationally Aware. National questionnaire All firefighters must complete a National Firefighter Questionnaire (NFQ) designed to assess an individual’s attitude and motivation. The questionnaire covers the following topics: Working with Others Commitment to Diversity and Integrity Confidence and Resilience Commitment to Excellence Commitment to Development Situational Awareness Openness to Change.
Training and development
All fire and rescue workers are expected to undertake continuous training through attending lectures, exercises and practical training sessions.