Here are answers to some of the questions people ask us about applying for a job with the fire service and being a firefighter.

Questions and answers

As a firefighter you will need to absorb and retain complex information and many of our firefighters will go on to be future managers. Therefore you must have 2 GCSE’s grade A* – C (9-4) in maths and English language, or equivalent level 2 qualifications. Find out more about what qualification levels mean on the GOV.UK website.

You do not need to live in Norfolk and some of our firefighters travel from other counties to work in our service.

We do not pay relocation costs however, so bear this in mind when you apply.

No, you can be any nationality as long as you have permanent unrestricted right to live and work in the UK. All candidates are required by law to provide evidence of their legal right to work in the UK.
You need to be 18 years of age or older at the start of the initial recruitment course. While there is no upper age limit, normal pension age for firefighters is 60.
There is no minimum or maximum height – our firefighters come in all sizes.

You will need to be fit and maintain your level of fitness throughout your career as a firefighter.

As part of the recruitment process you will take a number of physical tests. You will also need to pass a fitness test to determine your aerobic capacity. (Aerobic capacity means the ability of the heart and lungs to get oxygen to the muscles.)

See our fit for duty page for more information.

As long as your eye sight meets the required standard, glasses are not a bar to applying.

If you are not sure if your eyesight meets the required standards we strongly advise you to seek advice from your optician before applying.

The eyesight standards are as follows:

  • Uncorrected distance vision no worse than 6/18 in the better eye, and 6/24 in the worse eye
  • Corrected distance acuity should be at least 6/9 with both eyes open and reach 6/12 in the weaker eye
  • Near vision should be able to read N12 at 30 cm with both eyes open unaided
  • Have normal binocular field of vision
  • Have an appropriate level of colour perception. If you have either normal colour vision or slightly abnormal green colour vision you're still suitable for appointment to the fire service. The recommended test procedure uses the Ishihara test as the initial screen. If you fail the screening we may schedule an additional test at one of our preferred opticians.

Under the Equality Act 2010 a disability is defined as: 'Anyone who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on her/his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.'

We ask all candidates if they need adjustments to be made as part of the recruitment process and to enable them to be fulfil the role of firefighter. Each case will be considered on an individual basis. We need to consider with you whether a reasonable adjustment can be made to enable you to undertake the role of firefighter.

It depends.

If you have unspent criminal convictions you will have to declare them as part of the application stage.

You will be subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, which you will need to read as each offence will be different.

Before we make an offer of employment we may carry out a criminal record check with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). If at this stage it highlights a conviction that you have not declared, your application will be withdrawn from the recruitment process.

It would certainly help. You will be required to work in a number of different stations across Norfolk – some of which are not accessible by public transport.

You may also choose to become a large good vehicle (LGV) driver so you can drive our appliances.

Yes. Most firefighters work a four day rota – two day shifts, two night shifts followed by four days off. We also operate a day duty system.

The good news is that you'll know what shifts you are working a year in advance.

You will need to be confident in water.

We are often involved in water rescue and we help people leave their homes in the event of flooding. You may need to operate in swift water to a depth of 750mm.

Unfortunately, yes. Your face must be clean shaven to prevent any dangerous airborne chemicals entering your facemask.

We respect religious needs however, as a firefighter, you will be required to wear a facemask when you are wearing breathing apparatus.

If you need to pray as part of your faith we will make every effort to provide a private place for you to do this.

However, there will be times when you are involved in a rescue or other activity that will mean you may need to wait until the incident is finished to pray.

Not a problem – all our stations have separate facilities for our female and male firefighters.
You need to be successful at each stage to progress to the next. However this does not mean that you can’t apply again when we are next recruiting.

The dates of the assessments and the training course have been set and agreed at the beginning of the recruitment process. They are very labour intensive and take huge amounts of planning.

If you are unable to make any of the dates you will not be able to continue with the recruitment process on this occasion.