More female firefighters wanted in West Yorkshire

WYFRS - Ordinary to extraordinary

1:00am 8th March 2018

Applications have opened to join West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS), and would-be recruits are being urged to get #FirefighterFit!

They're opening applications on International Women's Day - highlighting to the community that anybody can apply, and how they are in fcat urging more women to!

The fire service is encouraging women to smash the traditional 'male only' stereotype of the job of a firefighter.

The bid comes as we champion the steps that have been taken to make WYFRS an appealing and
supportive workplace for both males and females.

Currently WYFRS employs 95% male staff on the operational ‘firefighting’ side of our business,
meanwhile support staff are equally split between men and women.

Some of WYFRS’ key staff are women working in departments such as Finance, IT and the Control
Room, and whilst this is widely expected the general public is often still surprised to hear that in West
Yorkshire alone there’s almost 50 operational female firefighters. However, this is currently only 5% of our
operational workforce.

Last year was the first time WYFRS had recruited new firefighters in more than eight years, making it highly competitive. More than 7,000 people applied to attend a taster session, with more than 6,000
registering an interest to become a firefighter. After passing a number of physical, resilience, team working and empathy tests, 24 new recruits embarked on their new career on 8 January this year.

Station Manager Laura Boocock, who is in charge of the recruits teams at WYFRS Headquarters, said:

"Although we had an overwhelming response last year from people wanting to become a firefighter, it was quite striking how many people underestimated how tough the entry tests are.

"We pride ourselves on being a first class, modern fire and rescue service and, quite simply, we want the best of the best. If you want to become a firefighter, you have to be prepared. I'd offer the following advice: get firefighter fit! This isn't just a gimmick it's good advice. You must work not only on your fitness, but your strength and grip strength.

"You will need mental strength. I have noticed that many people who play sports excel at this, because they have the mental resilience to push themselves in incredibly challenging situations. Those who play team sports are often great candidates, as they know how to work as a team.

"I would also urge women and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to have a go! It's unfortunate that many people see firefighters as the stereotypical macho man, but this couldn't be further from the truth. The modern fire and rescue service works on a team ethos and we value all skills, abilities, shapes, sizes and strengths. You could be extremely valuable to us and enjoy a wonderful career."



Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said:

"This is an incredible opportunity to join our family and make a real difference. As a firefighter, you will deal with all manner of incidents, from fires to floods and rescues from height to Road Traffic Collisions. You will also spend a great deal of time in the community, giving safety advice to the most vulnerable people to keep them safe and well. If you are thinking of applying, don't waste the opportunity."

Councillor Judith Hughes, Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said:

"I hope this year we can inspire more women to apply for what is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career.

"All our firefighters are ordinary people who do an extraordinary job. There are many opportunities to specialise and to rise up the ranks if you are successful. Start preparing now if you want to apply!"

For the most up-to-date information about applying, visit or follow us on
Facebook ( or Twitter @WYFRS. You can also keep track of events in your
area by following our district accounts:
CM Laura Smith, who is co-ordinating recruitment activities, can also be contacted via Twitter at

Good luck!

	 firefighterFit - WYFRS recruitment

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