How to become an outreach officer in the fire service: Ludwig's story
What’s your job?
I’m based at Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service headquarters. I'm an outreach officer. I make links with the community so we can provide a better service to the public.
I started A-levels but didn’t finish them. I joined the RAF instead and what I learned there helped a lot when I joined the fire and rescue service.
How did you get started in this job?
When I was young, I saw some friends of mine rescued from their house by the fire service and it left an impression on me. I thought that was the type of job I would like to do because I wanted to turn a situation in which I was helpless into a situation where I could help people.
Best thing about your job
Working somewhere that I am able to help people and make links with the local community. Meeting new people and challenging myself – or being challenged.
Think about groups you can join that might give you experience or skills in the area you are looking to go into – like the RAF or Air Cadets.
What to expect if you want to be in the fire service
- Salary: From £22,000 to £42,000
- Working hours: On average 42 hours per week
- Entry requirements: You must be 18, although you can apply slightly earlier. You'll need to pass a series of physical and written tests, a medical and an interview. You may need GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and Maths, depending on which fire service you want to join. Volunteering in a support role will give you an idea of the job, as well as access to internal vacancies. Before you can begin any work, you usually need to pass background security checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)