Going from ordinary to extraordinary

Going from ordinary to extraordinary

Do you have what it takes to become a firefighter?

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) opened their application window this week, and officials are expecting thousands of hopefuls to apply once again.

But this year, to mark International Women’s Day – which coincided with the application period opening – 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 wholetime female firefighters and the organisation is hoping more will consider applying to better reflect the people it serves.

Six female firefighters were on hand at WYFRS headquarters at Oakroyd Hall in Birkenshaw at the launch of the application period to show journalists exactly what is expected of new recruits.

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 wholetime female firefighters in West Yorkshire, who are just as competent as their male colleagues and 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.”

Coun Judith Hughes, chairwoman of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, 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.”

Last year in total there were more than 7,000 applications for 72 places on the 15-week training course, which is held in Birkenshaw. 

Ian Brandwood, chief employment serviceswww.joinwyfirefighters.com 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 wholetimeapplications@westyorksfire.gov.uk. 

Potential recruits are encouraged to work on their fitness ahead of a series of rigorous tests. 

The application period closes on March 26 – there is no upper age limit, you just have to be aged over 18.

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