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Northumberland FRS Success - 2021


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Held off on writing this for fear of somehow jinxing myself, but having had my induction day on Friday, I am very happy to say that I’ll be starting my Wholetime trainee course with Northumberland FRS tomorrow morning.

I’m 25, from the West of Scotland and have mostly worked in security for the last few years since graduating university. I’ve also got a bit of military experience, having been Army Reserves for a little over 6 years now (boooooo STAB, I know 😂) I’d always liked the idea of the Fire Service but had never given it any serious thought, always having leaned more towards the police or the regular army. That was until I got talking to a few serving FF’s who were also reservists, their obvious passion and love for the profession was clear and encouraged me to take a closer look at the service.

My first interaction with the service was back in 2018. Cumbria, my local service at the time, was starting a recruitment drive and I went along to an insight evening at a station and enjoyed every minute, but army commitments got in the way and I missed the subsequent recruitment window. I was gutted to have missed out, but determined not to miss another.

Cue 8 applications since then to Cumbria (x2), Northern Ireland, Scotland, Merseyside, Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and even an RFFS role at Glasgow Airport. These proved to be a mixed bag, making it to different stages of the recruitment process with each one. After 3 years of frustration, tears and a lot of travelling, though, I was lucky enough to come out the far end with 2 conditional offers from Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. Now I know there will be folk reading this and scratching their heads over why someone would choose Northumberland, a small (one of the smallest) county brigades over Tyne and Wear, a large metropolitan brigade and there are a few different reasons, but I can honestly say it was the people I met through the process and the atmosphere within NFRS that swayed me in the end. (No disrespect to TWFRS, they are a brilliant service whom I will no doubt work closely with in the future)

In terms of advice for those still struggling through the recruitment process, there are a few things I’ve picked up over the last few years: 

Invest in online practice tests (how2become, assessment day, FRS development, etc).

Put a lot of time in to your PQA answers/examples, the FRS Development workbooks are absolutely fantastic for this, thoroughly recommend.

Ensure your fitness is ABOVE the level expected, be able to hit 8.8 on the bleep test comfortably and keep going to at least 10.0.

Research the service your hoping to join, download their IRMP, follow them on social media, see what their priorities are.

Finally, and most importantly, STICK WITH IT! I had a serious wobble earlier this year after several rejections and almost fell to the dark side (I had a conditional job offer with a national police force 😂). I was starting to think that I just wasn’t the right person for the fire service and the police is obviously a great career, but I happened to have a meeting with my company commander on a reserve training night who asked how the job hunt was going? I told about my current position and he simply asked “What is it you really want to do?” It was such a simple question, but it somehow resonated with me and made me realise that the fire service was the career I wanted and spurred me on to stick with it. A couple of months later, I got my two conditional offers and here I am today.

I’ve got to thank everyone on here that’s helped along the way, this forum is absolutely invaluable and I definitely wouldn’t have been successful at such a young age without it, I’ll be sticking about on here to hopefully help others get to this stage. Finally, an extra shout out to @Jono86 for putting up with all my bone questions over the last year, many pints are owed! 😂🍻 

Now the real hard work begins.

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Well done mate all that hard works paid off and now the start of a great journey 👍  just passed my physicals today and hoping to follow on the same path 👍  all the best mate 

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Congratulations.  Another post that shows perseverance pays off when you have the attitude of wanting to take every knock-back, every rejection and use it to improve, to make yourself a stronger candidate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What an amazing story of determination, resilience and sheer hard work.

Well done for keeping going when many would have given up

Huge respect and many congratulations 👍👍👍

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  • 3 weeks later...

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