London Fire Brigade

Firefighter FAQs

Who can apply?

Anyone over the age of seventeen and a half (at the time of application), you must be a UK/EU citizen, without work restrictions or be a permanent resident in the UK.  In order to improve the diversity of the workforce, we welcome applications from women and members of the BME and LGBT communities in particular.

I have registered and I am still waiting for my activation code. Is this due to the number of applicants you have received?

If you are having trouble receiving your activation code we advise you to check your filters and spam junk mail. The system is working but it may be that your settings are preventing you from receiving emails. If you are still having problems you should contact your internet service provider.

Can I submit a late application after the advert has closed?

No, the system will not allow for late applications which is why we recommend you submit your application in plenty of time.

What is the reason for closing the job before the advertised deadline?

There are a limited number of vacancies within any given year and the Firefighter role attracts a high volume of applications. Therefore to manage this effectively, it is sometimes necessary to close the job before the advertised deadline.

Do I need qualifications to become a firefighter?

No, however you will be expected to sit tests which are comparable with having English and Maths GCSE's grades A to C, along with a test to assess your mechanical reasoning.

How long does the selection process take?

There is usually a large response to any campaign, therefore It can take anything from 4-20 months to complete the whole selection process (application to offer stage). There are several stages to complete, with each stage acting as a sift.  Please refer to 'The way we recruit'. 

Can I apply if I don’t live in the London?

No, unfortunately not. To be eligible to apply you must live in London and have had a permanent London address for 12 months (from date of application closing). Proof will be required as part of the selection process.

Proof of residence in any London borough for the last 12 months one must be dated within the last 2 months (from date of application closing).  For example if the application closed on 15 May 2017, you should provide evidence from 15 May 2016.

Please see list below detailing the acceptable forms of proof of residency

* P45/P60

* Utility bill (electricity,gas,water, telephone – including mobile phone contract/bill)

* Valid TV licence

*Credit card statement

* Store Card Statement

* Correspondence or a document from a government department

* Bank or building Society Document

* Financial statement e.g pension, endowment, ISA


Please note – the documents will only be considered acceptable if they are in your name. Please note that full proof of you residing in a London borough for 12 months will be obtained from your Disclosure Scotland criminal record check at the next stage.

Please also note that as the role of firefighter is an extremely popular position, the London Fire Brigade is unable to sponsor any applicant.

Candidates who are shortlisted to interview stage will be required to bring in their proof of residency. Photocopies will not be accepted. It is the candidates’ responsibility to ensure that they have their proof, failure to show them when required may result in withdrawal from the process.

Are there exceptions?

Yes, please see below.

Armed Forces Personnel, students and existing LFB FRS/control employees are allowed to submit an application. Serving Armed Forces personnel who are unable to provide evidence of eligibility, should attach a copy of their service record as proof that they are currently in the Armed Forces.  Students resident in London prior to commencing their course, even if the educational establishment is outside of London are exempt (although you must prove that you had a London address for 12 months prior to starting your course).  FRS and Control employees currently employed with a permanent contract but live outside of London are also exempt.

I am looking to transfer from another brigade?

We hope that we will be inviting transferees to apply at some point in 2017. When the next firefighter transfer window is open, information and details will be published on our website. We therefore advise you to check it regularly or set up a job alert on the system to receive notification when the role is next advertised.

We only accept transfers from current UK local authority fire brigade wholetime firefighters who are qualified/competent and are Emergency Fire Appliance Drivers (EFAD) with their brigade. At present we do not accept transfers for crew manager or watch manager positions.

What are the eyesight requirements?

The current eyesight entry requirements are as follows:

  • Use of corrective appliances should be acceptable at the recruit stage.
  • Corrected visual acuity should be 6/9 binocularly, and a minimum of 6/12 in the worse eye.
  • The minimum uncorrected vision for recruits should be 6/18 in the better eye and 6/24 in the worse eye.
  • An upper hypermetropic limit of +3.00.
  • Testing for myopic corrections is not required.
  • VA testing protocols must be better defined (e.g. for Snellen/Logmar, distances, ambient lighting and use).
  • ‘Acceptable’ colour vision.
  • A normal binocular visual field.
  • Only certain types of refractive surgery are permitted subject to specialist assessment. Guidelines state you need to wait 1 year after surgery before you will be considered.

What if I'm colour blind?

You'll still be able to apply. If you get to the medical stage of the recruitment process, the severity of your colour deficiency will be assessed and a risk assessment will be made.

Do I need to be phyically fit?

Yes, all firefighters need to be phyically fit and this forms part of the assessment process. You will also be required to maintain your fitness levels throughout your career.

Can I have a beard?

No, you must be clean shaven to safely wear breathing appartus whilst fighting fires.

What about training?

If successful you will initially do 10 weeks pre-course learning, all materials will be supplied to support this.  The pre-course learning is done in your own time and is evaluated just before you commence the full time paid training.
The pre-course learning roughly equates to between 20 and 30 hours depending on your learning style.

Will I need to pay for anything?

No, all training materials, including uniforms, fire kits etc and the 11 weeks in house training is all paid for by the Brigade.

Do I get paid as a trainee?  

Yes, we currently pay trainee firefighters a salary of £26,211 pa inc. London Weighting.

Can I apply if I have a criminal record?

You will only be able to apply once your conviction is spent according to the Rehibilitation of Offenders Act 1974. There are certain spent periods for different convictions. Please refer the following link for further details: nacro

Do I need a driving licence?

Part of a firefighter's job is to be able to drive brigade vehicles (including fire engines). Therefore you must have a full UK manual driving licence. Candidates over 18 must also hold a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) theory test by the time the training starts (with the exception of Diabetics).

Please note - candidates who commence training under the age of 18 will expected to pay for and successfully obtain the LGV theory test after turning 18.

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