Thousands apply for West Midlands firefighter jobs

Fire station open day demonstration It is hoped 50 new firefighters will join the service in October

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More than 5,000 people applied for 50 firefighter jobs in the West Midlands.

West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) is recruiting for the first time in three years because the number of its firefighters has fallen.

About six firefighters leave the brigade every month for "retirement or other reasons", WMFS said.

Of the 9,500 who registered an interest in the roles, 5,215 completed an online application during a two-week period which ended on Wednesday.

Further tests, medicals and interviews will be held between July and September, with contracts beginning in October.

Successful candidates will have a starting salary in excess of £21,000 funded through an additional £5 per household given to the service from the council tax, as agreed earlier this year.

A WMFS spokesman described the response to the jobs as "amazing".

The number of firefighters employed by the service is expected to have reduced from 1,600 in 2011 to 1,236 by the end of 2015.

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