Being a firefighter

Find out what firefighters do and what skills they need.

How to become a firefighter?

A firefighter’s job is both challenging and demanding, however, it is also extremely rewarding. It requires fitness, professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication and a commitment to excellence. 

We provide our service every minute of the day, every day of the year. Fires and disasters do not stop because of holidays or bad weather and nor do we. 

Firefighters face stressful and hazardous situations as well as providing comfort and reassurance to people who may be deeply affected by them.

What skills do I need to become a firefighter? 

To be a good firefighter, you will need a combination of skills and qualities. These include: 

  • excellent all-round physical fitness  
  • sensitivity to deal with the public when they are distressed  
  • problem solving using relevant information   

If you become a firefighter, you will receive extensive training that will be a mix of both theoretical and practical. 

What types of incidents do firefighters attend?

Firefighters respond to 999 emergency calls to put out fires. But that’s not all. The firefighter’s role involves a huge range of activities other than firefighting. 

Other types of incidents you may attend are: 

  • road traffic collisions 
  • chemical spillages 
  • water rescue operations 
  • flooding incidents  
  • rail incidents  
  • and other disaster situations 
Firefighters cutting into a car using cutting equipment

Helping prevent fires

The best way to fight fires is to prevent them ever starting. For this reason, our main focus is on educating and informing people in the community.  

This means that firefighters spend a large amount of their time educating the public. This involves anything from:  

  • fitting smoke alarms  
  • school and community group visits  
  • working with local councils to ensure the protection of vulnerable people  
  • carrying out inspections of commercial and industrial premises  
  • providing safety advice to community groups and families  
  • visiting people's homes, assess fire risks, and provide advice on protection 
  • collaborate with emergency services like the police, ambulance, and coastguard, offering specialized skills

Employee Benefits

In addition to the job satisfaction and the pride linked with working for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, employees have access to a wide range of benefits including:

  • A competitive salary and pension scheme
  • A range of excellent policies including those that promote a work life balance
  • Excellent training and career progression opportunities
  • Generous leave entitlement that increases with service
  • Access to ‘mylifestyle’ for saving/ discount schemes, including tax savings through our salary sacrifice schemes
  • Access to benefits such as The Fire Fighters Charity / SFRS Family Support Trust for you and your family
  • Access to gym facilities and Health and Wellbeing services and advice