Selection Process & Training

Information on Suitability Tests and the Application Process

The Irish Fire Service are committed to engaging a workforce that reflects modern Ireland and the people they serve. Becoming a Retained Firefighter is an option for anyone, regardless of nationality, gender, or background.

While there is no standardised testing or selection process across the 27 Fire Services, below we have outlined some of the types of testing, interview, and medical assessment that you may be required to undertake.

You will also be expected to complete a number of different elements of training, some of which are outlined below:


To become a Retained Firefighter, you may be required to pass the following tests:

  • Literacy and Numeracy Competency test – a short basic test on reading, writing, mathematical and time calculation
  • Psychometric / Aptitude assessment – tests designed to assess a candidate’s personality and situational judgement
  • Operational Skills Test – may include dexterity/equipment test, a ladder test (extending a fire service ladder and climbing a ladder) and a confined space/claustrophobia test
  • Physical Assessment – a test to ensure the candidate is fit enough to perform tasks that are both physically and mentally demanding.
Fire Ladder Training

Formal Interview

The interview is your opportunity to give evidence of your knowledge, skills and experience and the Fire Service’s opportunity to assess your suitability for the role of firefighter.

Medical Assessment

If you are successful at interview you will be asked to attend for a medical with an occupational health doctor and nurse.


Retained Firefighters are required to undertake training that may include:

  • Firefighting Skills – ladder safety, hose laying, use of road traffic equipment, basic HAZMAT awareness, fire safety and the use of fire extinguishers
  • Breathing Apparatus Training – this training is designed to ensure that individuals understand how to use breathing apparatus safely and effectively in environments where the air is potentially hazardous or lacking in oxygen
  • Compartment Fire Behaviour Training – this training aims to develop the crew’s knowledge and understanding of fire development, its behaviours, signs and symptoms of flashovers and backdrafts, and how to control and influence the conditions to better favour the team
  • Emergency First Responder Training – training in the assessment and care management of patients in the pre-hospital environment for a range of common medical and trauma emergencies
  • People/Patient Handling – this training is designed to instruct employees in the theory and practice of safe patient handling
  • Swift Water Rescue Training – this training equips recruits with the skills to carry out technical rescues in a swift water and flood environment and includes scenario-based training.
Car Force Entry Training
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