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Becoming a firefighter: what to expect

On call and full-time firefighters

All firefighters are trained to deal with lots of different incidents and may be involved with:

  • fighting fires
  • supporting people in serious road traffic collisions
  • rescuing a stranded animal on a cliff face
  • launching the inshore rescue boat into the sea to search for missing persons
  • dealing with chemical spills
  • offering advice on fire safety to homes and businesses
  • giving careers advice to schools delivering fire safety training

Find out more about applying to be a firefighter.

Hours of work

On call firefighters

On call firefighters carry a pager and respond from their home or work. You need to provide one period of 24 hours on call every four days if working from St Helier headquarters or alternate evenings if working from Western Fire Station. You also need to provide extra support on alternate days or nights depending on your assigned fire station.

Full-time firefighters

Once you join an operational watch, you'll start working a rotating shift pattern. This means that you'll work weekends, nights and public holidays when your shift falls on these times.

A normal working week includes 42 hours based on a shift rota.

Requirements for the job

You can only apply to be a firefighter during a recruitment period.

Before you can apply to be an on call firefighter, you need to meet certain entry requirements. You must:

  • be at least 18 on your first day of service
  • be able to respond from work or home to your assigned fire station within 15 minutes (or within eight minutes if you live by the Western Fire Station)
  • have permission from your employer if you'll be responding from work
  • be educated to GCSE level or equivalent
  • have residential housing qualifications or have lived in Jersey for the last five years
  • hold a full, clean driving licence
  • be healthy and fit (including dentally)
  • be able to swim 100 metres
  • have good sight and colour perception in both eyes
  • not need contact lenses or glasses
  • be available to train on Tuesday evening (for Town on call) or Wednesday evening (for Western on call)

Pay and what you can expect

As an on call firefighter, you'll get:

  • an annual retaining wage between £3,429 and £4,315
  • a paid hourly rate for call-outs
  • paid weekly training (drill) sessions​

A full-time firefighter's salary starts at £30,502.

You can view on call and full-time fireighter payscales on the public sector payscales webpage.

Ongoing training and development

On call firefighter

If you're offered a position as an on call firefighter, you'll need to complete a local foundation training course. The course develop the skills, abilities and qualities you need to be a firefighter. You'll then be placed into a talent pool for selection to available jobs.

Once you start work as an on call firefighter, you'll attend a two-hour training (drill) session once a week to practise and develop your skills. The sessions will be on a Tuesday for St Helier Fire Station or Wednesday evenings for the Western Fire Station.

Further development training includes:

  • breathing apparatus training
  • a trauma course
  • pump operators course
  • training to pass the large goods vehicle (LGV) test

All skills are developed through the Qualified Firefighter Programme.

Full-time firefighter

Full-time firefighters will be assessed over two years and need to complete a Qualified Firefighter Foundation Programme through written and practical assessments.

Once you've passed your foundation period, your position as a fulltime firefighter will be confirmed. You'll continue to study and train to develop your theoretical and practical skills. After four years, you can take the qualified firefighter exam.

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