Overview of the role

Tackling a wide range of emergency situations such as tackling fires, searching, rescuing and protecting people and animals.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in 45 Fire Services across England as well as other organisations who have their own fire services such as the RAF, Airports, Ministry of Defence and those dealing with explosives and chemicals. Therefore, although the role is predominantly found in the public sector, there is a need for operational firefighters in the private sector. The size of the employer will vary but will tend to be medium to large in size.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to deal with a wide range of emergency situations where problem solving and initiative is vital to resolve incidents quickly and calmly. When in attendance, an Operational Firefighter must adopt a sensitive approach to dealing with members of the public and casualties who may be distressed and confused. These situations vary from tackling fires, searching, rescuing and protecting people and animals, by sustaining/preserving their life to protecting life and the environment from the effects of fire, natural and human disasters and hazardous materials. (Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives). They also respond to incidents involving planes, trains, road traffic collisions and marine emergencies. They may also conduct fire risk assessments and audits in businesses and homes, fitting detection and suppression equipment if necessary The working day could include theoretical and practical training along with testing and maintaining equipment to ensure operational preparedness. It is essential a firefighter is prepared and ready to respond at all times when on duty. Firefighters must be able to carry out physically demanding work; at height, in enclosed spaces, and outdoors - working in all weather and environmental conditions.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with the community to provide information, advice and guidance to individuals and groups around health, safety and well-being. Firefighters work as part of a close-knit team of professionals that provides 24-hour response cover to resolve fire and rescue operational incidents. They adopt multi agency working principles with partners and other services to achieve a swift and successful conclusion. They will also need to be able to carry out tasks individually.

An employee in this occupation is responsible for all incidents in a professional manner and in alignment with operational command and procedures.They will need to be aware of all relevant legislation and apply where necessary


Typical job titles include:

Civil aviation or within small private sector fire services that may be incorporated in other organisations such as manufacturers and engineering Firefighters could be employed in any of the fire services across england The armed forces

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Educate the community to improve awareness of fire and rescue safety matters

K1 K2 K10 K14

S1 S9 S10 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 2 Take responsibility for effective personal performance in fire and rescue


S1 S2 S10 S11

B4 B6

Duty 3 Establish and maintain effective working relationships with people

K1 K10

S3 S14

B1 B2 B3 B6

Duty 4 Save and preserve endangered life. Safely conduct a search to locate life involved in fire and other incidents, using a range of rescue equipment.

K4 K5 K7 K8 K9 K11 K15

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S12 S14

B3 B5 B6

Duty 5 Rescue life (human or animal) involved in incidents.

K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K14

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S12 S13

B2 B3 B5 B6

Duty 6 Provide treatment to casualties

K4 K6 K8 K9 K12 K15

S1 S2 S3 S5 S6 S7 S8 S12 S14

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6

Duty 7 Respond and provide resolution to fire and rescue operational incidents.

K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K14

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S11 S13

B3 B5 B6

Duty 8 Provide support to people directly or indirectly involved in operational incidents

K4 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K14

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S11 S12 S14

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6

Duty 9 Carry out roles and responsibilities, within the incident command system, alongside other agencies during fire and operational incidents.

K3 K4 K5 K6 K9 K10 K11 K12 K14

S1 S2 S3 S6 S7 S8 S10 S14

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6

Duty 10 Protect the environment from the effects of hazardous materials and support people involved. This could include the use of appropriate PPE and decontamination methods

K2 K4 K6 K7 K9 K10 K12 K14 K15

S1 S2 S4 S5 S9 S12 S13

B3 B5 B6

Duty 11 Test and maintain equipment to support the effectiveness of operational response


S1 S3 S12

B3 B5 B6

Duty 12 Collect information on risks and resources in your community

K2 K14

S2 S4 S5 S6 S7 S9 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 13 Support the development of colleagues in the fire and rescue


S1 S9 S10 S11 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 14 Contribute to fire safety inspections and outcomes to minimise risks to people property and environment.

K1 K2 K14

S1 S9 S14

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6



K1: How to engage with Communities to increase community safety and prevention awareness to prevent incidents from occurring and improve their health and wellbeing. Back to Duty

K2: The risks within their community and the methods that can be used to mitigate those risks. Back to Duty

K3: Appropriate methods of resolving fire and rescue emergency incidents using various fire extinguishing media (Water, foam/chemical) Back to Duty

K4: Appropriate methods of resolving fire and rescue emergency incidents using various rescue and extrication techniques Back to Duty

K5: The principles of Fire behaviour, ventilation and hydraulics Back to Duty

K6: The principles of Environmental protection by limiting the impact of an incident using a variety of techniques Back to Duty

K7: How to use personal and respiratory protective equipment in hazardous environments (K6) Back to Duty

K8: How to prepare and maintain operational equipment and resources. Back to Duty

K9: Hazards, risks and control measures across a range of emergencies Back to Duty

K10: The principles of JESIP (Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles) Back to Duty

K11: How to operate communication and technology systems, e.g. mobile data terminals, radios. Back to Duty

K12: How to carry out treatment to casualty, this will include basic life support and casualty handling Back to Duty

K13: The importance of maintaining their physical and mental wellbeing . Back to Duty

K14: Their duty within relevant Legislation Back to Duty

K15: Understand construction materials, basic elements of structure and reactions in an emergency situation. Back to Duty


S1: Carry out safe working practices in accordance with legal requirements as detailed within the knowledge section. Back to Duty

S2: Operate safely and effectively in emergency situations. Back to Duty

S3: Operate within an appropriate command and control system. Back to Duty

S4: Operate in hazardous environments using Breathing Apparatus. Back to Duty

S5: Safely resolve incidents involving hazardous materials, such as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive substances. These will be resolved by stopping further harm and then removal of/clearing up the substance. Back to Duty

S6: Safely work at height. Back to Duty

S7: Safely work in, on or around water e.g. to conduct rescues or extract water for firefighting purposes. Back to Duty

S8: Extricate casualties from situations of entrapment. Back to Duty

S9: Interact with and influence community members and business to reduce risks. Back to Duty

S10: Take responsibility for effective performance within their role. Back to Duty

S11: Support the development of their colleagues in their workplace Back to Duty

S12: Use and maintain specialist equipment Back to Duty

S13: Control and extinguish fires safely and effectively Back to Duty

S14: Communicate effectively, through listening, writing, speaking and presenting information Back to Duty


B1: Commitment to integrity and diversity, understanding and adopting a fair and ethical approach and treating others with courtesy and respect Back to Duty

B2: Embrace and promote the values of the organisation. Back to Duty

B3: Confidence and resilience within the role in highly challenging and changing situations, demonstrating reliability, adaptability, responsibility and accountability to the organisation. Back to Duty

B4: Situational awareness by maintaining an active awareness of the working environment to ensure a safe, secure and compliant working culture. Back to Duty

B5: Commitment to excellence, by adopting a conscientious and proactive approach to achieve and maintain excellent standards. Back to Duty

B6: Work collaboratively with others, both internally and externally. Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



this apprenticeship will be reviewed in accordance with our change request policy.

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 3
Reference: ST0486
Version: 1.3
Date updated: 03/04/2024
Approved for delivery: 27 February 2018
Route: Protective services
Typical duration to gateway: 24 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £14000
LARS Code: 241
EQA Provider: Ofqual
Employers involved in creating the standard: Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service, Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service, Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service, County Durham & Darlington Fire & Rescue Service, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, Kent Fire & Rescue Service, Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service, London Fire Brigade, London Heathrow, IFE, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, NFCC, Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, RAF, SFJ Awards, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service Surrey Fire & Rescue Service, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, West Midlands Fire Service.

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.3 End-point assessment plan revised 03/04/2024 Not set Not set
1.2 Standard, Funding and End-point assessment plan revised. 16/12/2020 02/04/2024 Not set
1.1 End-point assessment plan revised 20/08/2019 15/12/2020 Not set
1.0 Retired 27/02/2018 19/08/2019 Not set

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