wmfs1In its first intake for over three years, West Midlands Fire Service is set to recruit 50 new firefighters, with an online application process starting in June and two-month training courses to start later in the year.

Councillor John Edwards, Chair of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “Our frontline firefighter numbers are falling dramatically as we deal with the impact of government cuts in our funding of £21 million. Numbers will have reduced from 1,600 in 2011 to 1,236 by the end of 2015.

“We need to recruit in order to keep fire engines on the run and fire stations open. Earlier this year we asked Council Tax payers in the West Midlands for an extra £5 a year for their fire and rescue service, and promised it would be spent on our front line. This is exactly what we are doing.”

Expecting large numbers of FF applicants
David Johnson, Director of Human Resources for WMFS, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to be starting the search for fifty new firefighters. We get enquiries every day from people who want to join the brigade, and we’re expecting large numbers of applicants for these highly-skilled, professional roles.

“The vast majority of firefighter applications come from men, but we’re also very keen to hear from women and members of our black and minority ethnic communities who are currently under-represented within our operational workforce.

“We’ll be looking for candidates who fully understand what today’s fire and rescue service is about. They’ll be passionate about everything we do - from operational fire-fighting and rescue, through to our community-focused fire prevention and education work, and our daily efforts to protect the West Midlands’ more vulnerable people.”

Would-be firefighters need to be at least 17½-years-old at the time of their application, with a GCSE Grade C or equivalent in English and maths. The current joining salary is £21,369, rising to £22,258 during development and £28,481 when competent.

Practical training course
The online application process will start in June and be available for at least two weeks. As well as registering their personal details and qualifications, applicants will be asked to answer a series of questions to assess their eligibility and suitability, and their ability to understand information, work with numbers and solve problems.

Those who make it through the first stage will then have written and practical tests, medicals and interviews in July, August and September, with contracts of employment being issued in October.

The practical training course focuses on using breathing apparatus, hoses, ladders, hydraulic rescue equipment, fire-fighting techniques and trauma management. The theory covers subjects such as building construction, hydraulics, chemistry and combustion.

For more information or to apply visit www.wmfs.net/content/careers