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Wholetime Firefighter

Update regarding applications for wholetime /  apprentice firefighters and transferees 

In light of the announcements from Government regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), a review of our recruitment plans has been undertaken.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has taken the decision to suspend the wholetime recruitment planned for April. In addition the positive action awareness events scheduled for April will also be postponed.

As future details are agreed we will promote all new information and dates across our communication channels. In the meantime if you have any questions please contact our resourcing department

Awareness events

We hold awareness sessions to dispel myths about careers in the fire service. These events are aimed at our under-represented groups; for example, women, people who identify as LGBTQI+ and people from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. Please visit our awareness events page for further information.

Information about the role of an apprentice 

Information on becoming an apprentice with Cornwall Council

For specific information about the firefighter apprenticeship, view the role profile which is available on the job advert (which you can access by clicking on the application link above).

About the role of a wholetime firefighter

In this section, you can find out more about the role of a wholetime firefighter, as well the different application routes and associated selection processes. 

If you live and/or work within 4 minutes of your local community fire station, you may also want to consider becoming an on-call firefighter.

  1. What is a wholetime firefighter?
  2. Could I be a wholetime firefighter?
  3. What would I get out of it?
  4. Where are the wholetime community fire stations?
  5. How would I apply, and what is the selection process?

What is a wholetime firefighter?

Today's fire and rescue service can offer you a satisfying, exciting and varied career.

Fighting fires can in fact be just a small part of everyday work. Firefighters are called upon to advise on fire safety, but when they are called to a "shout" they could be dealing with any type of major or minor disaster: road, rail or air crashes; floods; chemical spills or rescuing people trapped in lifts or other confined spaces.

Could I be a wholetime firefighter?

This requires a range of personal skills such as understanding, reliability, flexibility and the ability to work in a team. Please also view our frequently asked questions about recruitment and equality and diversity.

If you are interested in becoming a firefighter, read the Want to be a firefighter? checklist and try our quick assessment to help you decide if its the type of job for you:

Note: the assessment tool requires Flash and therefore may not work on mobile devices

What would I get out of it?

Apart from the excitement, the challenge and the satisfaction of a job well done, you will learn to be more self-reliant and confident. After all, if you can cope in a real emergency, you are ready for anything else which life might throw at you.

Paid leave when you join the service is 30 days a year in addition to public holidays, but if you are required to work on these days you are paid double time and given time off in lieu.

Where are the wholetime community fire stations?

When you apply to join Cornwall's Wholetime Firefighter Duty System, you might be based at any of our 7 wholetime community fire stations: Tolvaddon, Bodmin, Falmouth, Newquay, Penzance, St Austell or Truro. 

Wholetime firefighters work 48 hours over an 8 day period, known as a tour of duty, an average of 42 hours per week. Duties may either be assigned to a day staffed station where you work 4 days on, 4 days off (from 0700 to 1900 hours) or a shift station you work 2 days (from 0700 to 1900 hours), 2 nights (from 1900 to 0700 hours) with four days off. 

Shift Station Duty System
(Tolvaddon and Falmouth community fire stations)

  • Day 1 - 0700 - 1900 
  • Day 2 - 0700 - 1900
  • Day 3 - 1900 - 0700
  • Day 4 - 1900 - 0700
  • Day 5, 6, 7, 8 - Rota (days off)

Day Staffed Station Duty System
(Bodmin, Newquay, Penzance, St Austell and Truro community fire stations)

  • Day 1 - 0700 - 1900
  • Day 2 - 0700 - 1900
  • Day 3 - 0700 - 1900
  • Day 4,  - 0700 - 1900
  • Day 5, 6, 7, 8 - Rota (days off)

In addition Liskeard community fire station is currently running a trial to provide greater capacity and enhanced resilience in the east of the county, by providing a level of wholetime availability during the daytime from 8am – 6.30pm Tuesday to Friday.

For more information about a particular station, please visit Your Local Community Fire Station.

How do I apply and what is the selection process?

There are different application routes to become a wholetime firefighter with us. If you have any queries about the different processes, we politely ask that you please refer to our frequently asked questions on wholetime firefighter recruitment in the first instance.

1. Transfer applications

Firefighters currently employed by either Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service, another UK Fire and Rescue Service, or an MOD/Armed Forces which uses the National Occupational Standards competency framework, who are deemed competent (fully qualified). The selection process will be: 

  1. Application
  2. Fitness test (if required)
  3. Interview

2. Apprentice and External applications

The general public and firefighters who are not yet deemed competent (fully qualified). We will also be recruting Apprentice Firefighters this year, which is a new process, but it will follow the same format as the external application process. The selection process will be National Firefighter Selection Process.

Thank you for your interest in joining Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service.

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