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Scottish FRS Success


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Hi everyone, just thought I'd share my experience going through the application process from start to finish! 

Eagerly waited for applications to open on 30/11/17 - spent the whole evening working on my answers to all of the questions using the STAR method, had my girlfriend and parents proof read it to ensure I hadn't made any mistakes and sent it off the next day. I then booked in to the first available open day that I could get on to which was at the Fire Station on McDonald Road in Edinburgh. This was fantastic, really gave me a good insight into what to expect on assessment day and also made me feel even more motivated!

I submitted my application pretty much straight away which I thought was probably a bit hasty as a lot of tips were offered at the open day which made me a little nervous however I knew I had given the best answers that I could on my application. I cannot recommend the open days enough if you want to give yourself the best chance of success. 

A long and very nervous wait to find out whether my application would be progressed followed, on the 12th January I received an email inviting me to take the online calculation test which was harder than I thought it would be seeing as I hadn't really done anything like this since school around 11 years ago now! I watched youtube videos to help me revise for this, took the test and fortunately didn't find it too difficult (the practice tests were much harder than the actual test). Forward on to 16th Jan and I received another email inviting me to take the Situational Judgement Test, fortunately I didn't find this test too difficult either, the answers were pretty much common sense (in my opinion).  Another wait until the 26th Jan, received an email inviting me to assessment day with a link to a booking system to arrange a date. I opted for Thursday 8th Feb at Cambuslang. I booked this at around 08:00, went into work and realised that I could not get this day off, called the recruitment team at around 11:00 the same day and asked to re-arrange and was advised that everything for that week had been booked! Managed to get the day off anyway but it just shows you how eager everyone is along this process! 

I was so nervous leading up to assessment day, it was all I could think about. I spent a short time in the Royal Marines at CTCRM in Lympstone however I ended up leaving during training and regretted it big time, I was training to go back there before the opportunity to apply for the SFRS came up, so I knew I was fit enough. I studied the PQA's religiously and had my girlfriend do mock interviews with me to nail down my answers. I knew roughly what I was going to say for any question they might throw at me on the day. I really spent a lot of time going over everything as I knew how competitive this process would be and how high the standard would be. I didn't want to leave any stone unturned! I arrived at cambuslang at about 07:30 and faced a nervous wait, chatting with a few of the other candidates really helped settle my nerves. One guy didn't even turn up for the assessment, didn't call in or anything - a wasted opportunity that someone else could have had! At 08:00 the assessors took the group of 7 of us into a small room, congratulated us for reaching this stage and then briefed us on the day ahead. We were made aware that we would be assessed throughout the entire day, I made sure to address the staff as Sir/Ma'am etc. We started with the bleep test, we all passed as a group however some did struggle, I think a lot of people do get caught out with this test. After the bleep test we were given full PPE and straight into the practical assessments. We split into two groups and each took turns to do a ladder climb with leg lock and confidence test (both arms away from ladder, legs locked in position), simulated casualty drag, upper body strength test (erect a ladder), equipment assembly test, another timed fitness test (hose carry etc) and the confined spaces test which is done in pairs. The confined space test was carried out with breathing apparatus on and face mask blacked out, relying on team work to navigate around and remember a message given to us. 

After this we broke for lunch and were either told that we had been successful so far and would go on to be interviewed or would be sent home - only one person from our group was sent home. We showered then got suited up ready to be interviewed - a nervous wait followed while everyone went over their notes etc. I was interviewed by two staff and each asked me questions relating to the PQA's. I believe the interview lasted for about 20 minutes but it felt shorter! I was confident coming out of the interview however I did beat myself up unnecessarily over a couple of the answers that I gave however I knew I had given the best that I could offer!

Now another looooong wait - I received an email on 1st March stating that I had been successful in gaining a place within the holding pool, I didn't quite know what to make of this - I was over the moon but at the same time I wasn't sure whether I'd get on an intake for training anytime soon... The email stated that within the coming week, a number of candidates would receive an invite to medical - After another nervous week an email finally came through inviting me to medical and stating that I had gained a place on the April intake this year! At this point I was jumping around the house like a big kid!! 

Medical done and dusted so now just a couple of weeks to go before training starts on 23rd April! I cannot wait! 

One thing I wish I had found during my application was this forum! I only came across this fairly recently, after my assessment day etc.. this is a fantastic resource and I am more than happy to support the forum. 

Thanks for reading!


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Ah right! Congratulations on getting into the holding pool, from reading this forum it seems that the Scottish holding pools always get an intake!

Edited by Carl
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