As an RAF Firefighter you will provide 24/7 fire and crash rescue protection. You will be organised and trained to respond to any emergency with highly specialised equipment like powerful cutting tools.

Learn more about this role

Pay During First Six Months £16,800+ + Benefits

Pay Until Completion Of Phase Two Training* £21,400+ + Benefits

Is this for you?


  • Be aged 17 – 47 (Must attest before 48th birthday)
  • Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/Other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth
  • Have GCSE at Grade C/4-5 or SCE Standard Grade at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in English Language
  • GCSE at Grade C/4-5 or SCE Standard Grade at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in Maths
  • Hold a current full, clean UK driving licence
  • Commit minimum 3 years post Phase Two Training
  • Meet the health and fitness criteria
  • Pass the Defence Aptitude Assessment
  • Pass a Fitness test - Details below
  • Attend a Specialist Interview at Moreton-in-Marsh


  • Helping people
  • Sport & Fitness
  • Travelling the world




  • Play a role in Air Operations when deployed in the UK or Overseas.
  • Work as part of a close-knit team, deployable on short-notice to any location world-wide
  • Resolve incidents involving aircraft, buildings, hazardous substances and incidents caused by hostile activities

RAF Firefighters provide a deployable Aerodrome & Rescue Firefighting capability to Defence in the UK and overseas. When in the UK your role will be to maintain immediate readiness to respond to fight fires and effect rescue from military aircraft. You will also provide a first response to emergencies on the Defence estate and assist in providing fire safety awareness to Station personnel.

As the deployable arm for Defence you will be required to deploy within short time frame in the UK and overseas to support operations and exercises in potentially austere environments. You will be trained to use highly specialised vehicles and equipment including the new Defence capability of High Reach Extendable Turrets. You will work in a close-knit team on the aerodrome and your daily tasks will include ensuring that specialised vehicles and
equipment are tested and inspected whilst also maintaining and honing your professional firefighter skills.

(Note: due to the sophistication and efficiency of aircraft, and advancements in early fire detection on MOD establishments, fire crews spend significantly less time responding to aircraft and domestic fires than historically attended.)


Thanks to subsidised food, travel, accommodation and free gym you get more money in your pocket.

Benefits Salary
Civilian Role
RAF Role
  • Rent from £75p/m
  • Free gym
  • Subsidised food
  • Health care
  • World travel
  • 6 weeks holiday

See All Benefits



Your career will start with a 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you’ll also learn about the RAF lifestyle.


The 14 weeks specialist Firefighter training course takes place at the Defence Fire Training Unit Moreton-in-Marsh. The specialist course will teach you:

  • Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
  • Fire Service Drill
  • Breathing Apparatus Operations
  • Structural Firefighting Operations
  • Road Traffic Incident Techniques
  • Aircraft Construction
  • Aviation Firefighting Operations

You will deal with ‘live’ practice fires and gain experience of specialist crash rescue fire-fighting vehicles.

As part of specialist training you will be enrolled on to a Level 3 Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship. This is a 12-24 month programme you will complete as part of your daily duties.

More Details +


 Level 3 Award in Incident Command

  • Level 3 Certificate in Assessing  
  • Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement
  • Level 3 Award in Education and Training
  • Technician Membership Institute of Fire Engineers
  • Post Graduate Certificate (PGCert) in Emergency Planning, Resilience and Response
  • Post Graduate Diploma (PGDip) in Emergency Planning, Resilience and Response
  • Masters degree (MSc) in Emergency Planning, Resilience and Response


As your career progresses, we will continue to develop you in new skills. Early on you could achieve your category C large goods vehicle driving licence and learn the specialist skills needed to drive fire fighting vehicles by completing an Emergency Response Driver (Airfield) course.


For your first tour you will be posted to one of eight UK RAF bases where you will work as part of a tight-knit team, on call to handle any emergencies. You will focus on understanding the operation of a live airfield and routine tasks to support the running of the fire station. During this time expect to deploy to one of the ongoing deployment locations for a period of 4 months.


After a year, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman, if you pass a series of Trade Ability Tests. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection. Opportunities also exist for suitable individuals to apply to Commission into the Air Operations (Systems) Branch and be employed as a specialist Commissioned Fire Officer.


Because you will have all the development opportunities and career prospects of your civilian counterparts, along with civilian accredited qualifications, if you decide to leave the RAF you’ll be well placed to find a job as a civilian firefighter.



Your training will start with a Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) consisting of 4 weekends at your chosen RAF Reserves Squadron, followed by a 15 day residential training course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. This training course will prepare you for service life in one of the most respected military forces in the world; it is also designed to help you tune into the military environment and way of life. As well as military training, you will learn about the core values, code of conduct and history of the RAF, as well as its unique lifestyle.


After successfully completing initial training, you will be trained for your specific role in the RAF either at your squadron or another RAF station in the UK.

Commitment and location

You will have to commit to 27 days per year for 12 years minimum.

Each year includes a 15-day block for general RAF training, and 12 separate days for extra training or exercises.

You might be deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.



Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/Other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth.

Be aged between 17 and 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday).

*Until at least you have completed one year of service and successfully completed Professional Workplace Assessments on first posting.


Have these minimum grades:

Mathematics C Grade 4 Grade 5
English Language C Grade 4 Grade 5

find a list of the approved subjects here

Hold current full UK driving licence.  For candidates under the age of 20 years and 6 months at time of applying, the licence must be free from record of conviction or penalty points, including any driving ban (even if it has expired) as these preclude the holding of a LGV category licence. Candidates over this age with unexpired penalty points may be considered for service in the trade of Firefighter.

You can see what the RAF accepts in lieu of GCSEs & A Levels here.


Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/Other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth.

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application. However, candidates with a minimum of 3 years will be considered.


Your first fitness test is the Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) which takes place at a fitness centre local to you. This consists of the following:

  • 2.4km (1.5m) run on a treadmill (set to zero incline)
  • Achieve the required number of press-ups - within 60 seconds
  • Achieve the required number of sit-ups - within 60 seconds

Your second fitness test will take place as part of your Specialist Interview at RAF Moreton-in-Marsh.

Attend a Specialist Interview at Moreton-in-Marsh – Firefighter Specialist Interview Preparation

You can see what the course involves here.

The second fitness test will take place at RAF Halton as part of your three-day Pre-Recruit Familiarization Visit (PRFV). This consists of the following:

  • Achieving the required score on the Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT or Bleep test)
  • Achieve the required number of press-ups - within 60 seconds
  • Achieve the required number of sit-ups - within 60 seconds

How fit you need to be to pass these tests can vary depending on role, age and gender. The requirements are listed on the charts below (Male and Female).

MALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 11.39 9.03 20 35
17-29 11.11 9.10 20 35
30-34 11.36 9.04 19 32
35-39 12 8.09 18 29
40-44 12.26 8.03 17 26
45-47 12.54 7.07 16 23


FEMALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 13.54 6.07 10 32
17-29 13.23 7.02 10 32
30-34 13.47 6.08 9 29
35-39 14.13 6.04 8 26
40-44 14.48 5.08 7 23
45-47 15.19 5.04 6 20

You can see the protocols for Press Ups & Sit Ups here:

PJFT/PRFV Protocols

You can download an MP3 file of the Multi-Stage Fitness Test below, listen to the introduction file first:


RAF MSFT: Bleep Test

You can see a video demonstration of the PRFV Fitness Test here:

RAF Fitness Test

A 12-week fitness plan with detailed information to help you get ready for all of the fitness tests can be downloaded here.



There are health requirements that must be met by all applicants:

  • Body Mass Index requirements:
Age Male and female minimum Male and female maximum Male maximum with additional assessment Female maximum with additional assessment
18 + 18 28 32 30
16 to < 18 17 27 27 27
  • Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew.

Get in touch if you have any questions about the health criteria, or would like to find out if any additional health requirements apply to your role of interest.


The Medical Risk Assessment that all candidates undergo is there to make sure that you are healthy enough for the intense training required by the RAF. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information.



  • Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • Check if you qualify under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary
  • Have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance



  • Have been or are a member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. 
    Any permanent or temporary tattoos, whether ordinarily visible or not, must not be obscene or offensive (eg, racist, anti-religion or belief, crude, overtly sexist, homophobic, drug related or of an extreme political nature). Tattoos may be worn on the side and back of the neck but tattoos on the back of the neck must not extend above the natural hairline (scalp tattoos are not permitted). In addition, tattoos must not be visible below the sleeve cuff while wearing uniform, although a single finger (not thumb) tattoo that could be covered by a ring may be permitted
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

Beard Policy: A revised facial hair policy has been agreed by the Air Force Board which will allow serving personnel to wear a smart, neatly-trimmed, full-set beard whilst maintaining high standards of appearance. The length of acceptable beards is between Grade 1 (2.5mm) and Grade 8 (25.5mm). The wearing of beards during Phase 1 and Phase 2 training is currently under consideration and details will be advised when available

If you don’t have any of the above, you might still be able to apply. For more information contact your local AFCO.


Apply here and receive an email that invites you to your full online application.

Apply as a Regular