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I was 37 when I started the apprenticeship and there is not upper age limit at London Fire Brigade. In order to apply, I went through the recruitment process. I applied online, carried out the written and physical tests, and was lucky enough to be invited to the assessment centre. The assessment centre was made up of a group exercises, role plays and interview.
When you start training as a firefighter, you start your apprenticeship too. On top of the usual training you'll get access to a coach, and you'll achieve a Level 3 operational firefighter qualification.
It's the London Fire Brigade, level 3 Operational Firefighter standard. Currently on week 7 of training, which focuses on real fire training. The apprenticeship lasts 18 months but it will take up to 36 months for me to gain full competency as Firefighter. Apprenticeship covers aspects set out in the apprenticeship standard such as community safety, operational training and operational response.
Word of mouth and social media articles informed me on the opportunity. The radio campaign on female firefighters was particularly interesting and I quite liked the apprenticeship aspect of Firefighter training.
The Brigade came to my school and did a presentation on the role of Firefighter. However, no one mentioned apprenticeships when I was studying. This was in 1996 and this really sparked my first interest in firefighting as a career option.
The apprenticeship provides an opportunity for more structured learning and detailed to training due the way the apprenticeship standard is designed and actually, the firefighter training and apprenticeship go hand in hand nicely. They both cover the practical and theory aspects ell and compliment each other to get the best learning outcomes.
I’m training at moment and it’s all team work. We start the day together having breakfast and then follow the brief of the day. We know exactly what to expect in advance, which is supported by pre-learning. Today for example, we did cable training and ladder work. I am not part of a watch yet as I’m still on initial training and will be allocated a station after I have completed my 11 weeks training.
Love it. I’m doing what I enjoy. It’s a practical job and I’m doing what I’m passionate about.
They’ve been massively supportive. I’m a single mum of two children so it was a big step for me but my family really encouraged me. My daughter is especially proud of me for doing this.
Yes – absolutely. Anyone interested in becoming a firefighter should go to our website