Following last year’s phenomenal response from people applying to become a firefighter, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) will be opening the application window again this week.
This year, to mark International Women’s Day 2018, which coincides with applications opening (8 March), WYFRS is asking why more women don’t apply and make the grade?
Last year, more than 700 women applied to become a firefighter, but only four made it through the application process and gruelling fitness tests.
WYFRS has just under 50 whole time female firefighters and, in light of the fact the West Yorkshire population is made up of 50 per cent women, the organisation is hoping more will consider applying to better reflect the people it serves.
Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: “The application process to become a firefighter is tough mentally and physically, which means you must be dedicated and determined to pass each stage.
“Tests include situational judgement, which gauge your decision-making skills, your behaviour in difficult and high pressure situations, numerical and verbal reasoning, tough physical tests as well as role plays and finally an interview. We have the highest standards so feel that anyone who passes each stage will be ready and able to serve the public of West Yorkshire.
“We know there are many women out there who would make wonderful firefighters but are perhaps reluctant to apply, possibly because they still see it as traditionally a man’s job. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We have almost 50 whole-time female firefighters in West Yorkshire, who are just as competent as their male colleagues and who love their job. Any woman is capable of becoming a firefighter if they are fit and healthy and willing to put in the hard work to achieve their dream.”
Councillor Judith Hughes, Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, has been a staunch supporter of women in the fire and rescue service since she became Chair four years ago. She said: “I am delighted that applications open on International Women’s Day, as it gives us the ideal opportunity to shine a light on the wonderful female firefighters in West Yorkshire and around the world.
“We have an incredible role model in the UK, in the form of London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton, who is a real trailblazer for women. I am sure there are many women out there with incredible potential, but we need to encourage and support them to come forward. As our campaign says, we want ordinary people to carry out an extraordinary job.”
Ian Brandwood, Chief Employment Services Officer, said: “This is an incredible opportunity to join one of the leading fire and rescue services in the UK, so I would highly recommend that anyone wishing to apply is fully prepared.
“There are many opportunities, both for future promotion and specialisation, with the guarantee of job satisfaction.”
Anyone interested in applying should read the information carefully at www.joinwyfirefighters.com
Alternatively, call 01274 655745 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We also recommend that you follow @WYFRS and @WYFRSLauraS, who is co-ordinating the campaign in West Yorkshire’s communities to recruit under-represented groups. If you have a question for Laura, use the hashtag #AskLaura
Get #FirefighterFit and prepare for the tests by following us on Instagram @wyfrs!