With just over two months left before applications open to join West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS), would-be recruits are being urged to get #FirefighterFit!
Last year was the first time WYFRS had recruited new firefighters in more than eight years, making it highly competitive. More than 7,000 people applied to attend a taster session, with more than 6,000 registering an interest to become a firefighter. After passing a number of physical, resilience, team working and empathy tests, 24 new recruits embarked on their new career on 8 January this year.
If you want to follow in their footsteps and serve the public of West Yorkshire, try it for yourself at one of the services awareness sessions. You can book a place by visiting the WYFRS Eventbrite page by clicking here.
Station Manager Laura Boocock, who is in charge of the recruits teams at WYFRS Headquarters, said: “Although we had an overwhelming response last year from people wanting to become a firefighter, it was quite striking how many people underestimated how tough the entry tests are.
“We pride ourselves on being a first class, modern fire and rescue service and, quite simply, we want the best of the best. If you want to become a firefighter, you have to be prepared. I’d offer the following advice:
- Get #FirefighterFit! This isn’t just a gimmick – it’s good advice. You must work not only on your fitness, but your strength and grip strength. Follow our Instagram fitness vlog for practical advice (@wyfrs) and visit our website (www.joinwyfirefighters.com). You can also contact your local fire station and ask for advice.*
- You will need mental strength. I have noticed that many people who play sports excel at this, because they have the mental resilience to push themselves in incredibly challenging situations.
Those who play team sports are often great candidates, as they know how to work as a team. *
- Register for one of our taster sessions. It will give you a valuable insight into what to expect during tests and you can quiz the firefighters and instructors on what areas you need to work on.”
Laura added: “I would also urge women and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to have a go! It’s unfortunate that many people see firefighters as the stereotypical macho man, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The modern fire and rescue service works on a team ethos and we value all skills, abilities, shapes, sizes and strengths. You could be extremely valuable to us and enjoy a wonderful career.”
Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: “This is an incredible opportunity to join our family and make a real difference. As a firefighter, you will deal with all manner of incidents, from fires to floods and rescues from height to Road Traffic Collisions. You will also spend a great deal of time in the community, giving safety advice to the most vulnerable people to keep them safe and well. If you are thinking of applying, don’t waste the opportunity – make sure you are prepared and book onto one of our awareness days.”
Councillor Judith Hughes, Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “I hope this year we can inspire more women to apply for what is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career.
“All our firefighters are ordinary people who do an extraordinary job. There are many opportunities to specialise and to rise up the ranks if you are successful. Start preparing now if you want to apply!”
For the most up-to-date information about applying, visit www.joinwyfirefighters.com or you can follow the service on Facebook (www.facebook.com/WYFRS) or Twitter @WYFRS. You can also keep track of events in your area by following our district accounts:
CM Laura Smith, who is co-ordinating recruitment activities, can also be contacted via Twitter at @WYFRSLauraS