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Hi guys. Still pretty buzzing to be writing this as I’ve just got back for the second part of my medical with the Doctor (was in 2 parts) and been told I’ve passed so now I’m officially due to start training with CFB in January! I thought I’d share my story in case anybody reads this and takes any kind of inspiration or encouragement from it.

A little about me. I’m 27, been in the same job for just under 9 years and to be straight, felt wasted in it. I know I’m capable of more and I’ve always had a burning passion to forge a real career somewhere else. To be honest, I never saw a career as a Firefighter a possibility. My local brigade hadn’t recruited on a large scale for many years and as much as I thought I would love to do it, I always saw it as unreachable. So when Cleveland announced plans to hire this year I was all over it! The application stage was through a local recruitment site which just wasn’t ready for what was about to happen.

Applications opened on a Monday afternoon at 3pm with the intention of accepting an initial 300, just short of 600 logged on at 3pm to try and apply! It took me 5 hours of constant page refreshing to finally be allowed onto the site to get my application in! First stage was was to be invited to the HQ to sit some tests: verbal, numbers and some situational judgement ones if I recall correctly. The lucky ones that passed were they invited to do some fitness tests, which I’m sure everyone is familiar with by now. Anybody who is due to do these tests themselves and holds any kind of trepidation towards them, all I would say is practice your grip strength for the equipment carry and just keep going in the confined space - there is (literally) light at the end of the tunnel!

Fortunately I passed the fitness tests so got invited to the interview stage and got to work practicing many, many PQA questions. They were well ahead of this however and ended up slightly bending the questions to also include their visions and values so a few of the questions had me improvising. I didn’t mind this too much as my answer will have come across honest and not too rehearsed or stale. Now came the sucker punch, I passed my interview but subsequently got told I would be in a holding pool for 12 months and didn’t make it onto the July intake. I won’t lie, I was gutted! I wasn’t expecting them to be given the go ahead for another so soon but I still kept a bit of hope...

So fast forward a few months later and I’m laid on a sun bed in Spain on a Wednesday afternoon and get a phone call telling me they’d been given the go ahead for another course start in January and I’ve been offered a place pending medical and references! I was absolutely buzzing and it definitely caught me a bit off guard. As I’m sure many others on this forum can testify, when you get close to something the more you feel yourself wanting it. I was slightly anxious for my medical as I need glasses for distances, fortunately my unaided vision was *just* okay! 

So here I am due to start in 8 weeks. I know the hard work hasn’t even begun yet and I will do everything in my power to ensure I’m prepared for the course, but I am just so grateful to be given this opportunity. I want to thank absolutely everybody who uses this forum because believe me, I come on here a lot! I’ve probably lurked and read posts more than I’ve contributed but that will change now. I owe this forum a lot and I will absolutely stay around to contribute where I can. It’s been a fantastic resource for me trying to get into the job and I’m sure it’ll be even better when I can understand what you current serving guys are talking about in many of the posts 😅. I would also just like to name drop @Andy1 as he’s been especially helpful to me. I’m sure many others will agree he’s a great guy and deserves his success with GMFRS more than most. 

Thanks guys,


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Congratulations! You worked really hard and it paid off. I love the fact that you received your good news while lying on a sunbed in Spain! Life couldn't have gotten much better at that moment!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well done mate thats a great positive

Post to read, I sat my interview today, and will admit most stressful thing I've been involved- as work in family business and never say a proper interview before - its just finger crossed for me now

Hope you enjoy your career on the fire service 

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