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Firefighter Recruitment Entry Requirements

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The entry requirements outlined below are the general requirements of firefighter recruitment competitions, based on a variety of previous campaigns. These can vary between different city/county councils and competitions. Eligibility criteria is usually set out at the beginning of each competition.

Each candidate should refer to eligibility criteria that is set out at the beginning of each recruitment competition by each respective County Council for a definitive list of criteria.

Eligibility Criteria

1. Education

Each candidate must have obtained at least Grade D (or a pass) in five subjects including Mathematics and English from the approved list of subjects in the Department of Education Leaving Certificate Examination or in an examination of at least equivalent standard.

2. Driving Licence

Successful candidates will be required to hold a current full and unendorsed Category B Driving License prior to the commencement of training and will be required to drive emergency vehicles.

3. Character

Each candidate must be of good character.

4. Age

Candidates shall be at least 18 years of age on or before the closing date for the submission of application forms. Persons appointed to the position of Firefighter will be required to retire on reaching the age of 55 years

5. Health

Candidates shall undergo a pre-determined range of physical and strength tests as part of the medical which they are required to undergo before progressing to the CPSA.

Physical Capability Test

Have attained the level of fitness required to undertake the CPSA (details on Pg. 10)

Strength Test

Be assessed by undertaking test of hand grip and leg/back pull strength on a load cell dynamometer. Candidates should have a handgrip strength of:

Dominant Hand – 35 kg or above;
Subordinate Hand – 33 kg or above;
and a leg/back pull strength of 117 kg or above.


Distant Visual Acuity (DVA)

Minimum uncorrected 6/18 better eye and 6/24 worse eye

Corrected DVA 6/7.5 better eye and minimum of 6/12 worse eye

Vision must be binocular minimum 6/9 aided or unaided.

Near Vision

N12 unaided both eyes open (aged 25 +) and N6 aged <25
Normal visual fields

Formal optician report required for any who do not meet standards at pre-employment screening at the Occupational Health Service.

Corrective Lenses

If satisfactory visual function for the rescue and firefighting duties is achieved only with the use of correction, the spectacles, inserts or contact lenses must provide optimal visual function, be well tolerated, and suitable for rescue and firefighting duties, including the wearing of breathing apparatus.

Colour Perception

To the satisfaction of the City Council’s Medical Advisor.


To the satisfaction of the City Council’s Medical Advisor.

6. Physical Assessment

Candidates will be required to undergo a pre-determined range of physical assessments which will be administered by Fire and Emergency Services Personnel. This process will assess the candidate’s level of fitness, strength and manual dexterity, as well their capability to perform in simulated exercises. The following assessments are designed to reflect operational practice. Candidates will be required to complete a Participation Questioner Form (Par-Q) prior to undertaking any of these assessments.

This is a three stage process (as described below). Candidates shall receive a full descriptor of what is required by them in these various physical and dexterity assessments prior to their assessment date.

Stage 1:

Aerobic Fitness Test
– 12 minute Chester Treadmill Test

Stage 2:

Strength Test

– Shoulder Press 1 repetition at 35kg

– Rope Pull Down 1 repetition at 42kg (with gloves on)

– Rope Pull Down 23 repetitions in 39 seconds at 28kg

Stage 3:

Functional/Suitability Tests

– Manual Dexterity Test
– Ladder Climb Test
– Casualty Evacuation
– Confined Space Test
– Hose Roll Test

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