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How to become
an Australian Firefighter

HOW TO BECOME AN AUSTRALIAN FIREFIGHTER

On this page you will learn the skills necessary to pass the tough Australian Firefighter selection process.

The Role of a Firefighter

Although you have probably already reviewed the different ways that you might become a firefighter in Australia, most applicants make the mistake of defining the “role” in relatively general terms. The fire services in Australia are viewed in three ways:

  • Urban and salaried.
  • Rural and volunteer (with some salaried options).
  • Government land with both salaried and volunteer opportunities.

It is fair to say that each Australian firefighter group or organisation has its own mission, culture, history, and goals. Thus, potential Australian firefighters have to consider these things, as they begin to select the ideal working environment for their needs. You need to consider whether you want to work in a rural area or urban landscape, in a full or part time capacity.

Remember too that most firefighters are not going to “just” fight fires. Most of the groups identified above are part of bigger groups and communities. Thus, you might be working to educate citizens and children about fire safety, or you might help committees to determine the best ways to reduce risk or to prevent fires in the first place. Australian firefighters are also called upon to do things such as:

  • Inspecting the aftermath of bush or structure fires;
  • Inspect buildings for safety and giving official approval;
  • Working in rescue operations for incidents such as auto accidents, marine disasters or even rural/outback issues;
  • There may even be a call for disaster response in certain firefighting jobs as well.

This all implies that a lot of skill and experience is required. Fortunately, all Australian firefighting organisations do have an educational period in which their fighters are trained, but you still need that “extra” something. What is that extra something? Well, most successful Australian firefighters tell you that this can include a range of things, such as:

  • Enjoying being part of a team.
  • Having a strong commitment to the community.
  • Being agreeable to constant and ongoing training.
  • Working directly with the public in many different ways, such as education, training, and preparedness.
  • Being focused on preservation of wildlife and natural habitats.
  • Being able to operate independently, but to also quickly follow orders from a higher authority figure.
  • To remain calm in any sort of crisis or emergency situation.

Does this sound like you? If so, you are probably a good candidate for employment as a firefighter of some kind in Australia. Let’s move into some of the more specific requirements.

Australia Firefighter Eligibility Criteria

In order to become a firefighter in Australia, you will need to meet some general eligibility requirements. Some of the requirements are very basic, such as having Australian citizenship or permanent residence status, but a brief list of things to consider would include the following:

  • Australian citizenship or permanent residence status;australia-l
  • An education to the minimum level acceptable by the organisation (for the most part Year 10 is acceptable, but most organizations prefer to see Year 12 levels); OR a completed Trade Certificate or Tertiary Qualification;
  • The ability to demonstrate considerable employment experience (usually this means at least two years of full time employment);
  • Current first aid certificate (many groups want to see the Senior First Aid Level 2 certification);
  • Australian C Class Licence with no restrictions and confirmation of completion of a ‘Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Assessment’, OR an Australian MR Class driving licence with no restrictions;
  • Current Medical Consent to participate in physical abilities testing;
  • A Police character Check.

If you know that these are things that will not present you with any challenges, you can move on to the next chapter. If you have some gaps in your requirements, take the time right now to get this taken care of, because these are essential items for almost any paid or salaried firefighting position.

Steps to Becoming
an Australian Firefighter

To become a firefighter in Australia, you will be required to go through the following selection process:

Step 1 Application and all required materials are submitted
Step 2 A preliminary interview may occur

All of the tests required by the state have to be taken, including any:

  1. Written tests
  2. Psychological tests
  3. Aptitude tests
  4. Character analyses
  5. Criminal history checks
  6. Medical examinations
  7. Literacy and numeracy exams
  8. Reasoning ability tests
  9. Mechanical ability tests
  10. Interviews

Tests will vary from state to state, but the physical tests are a somewhat universal issue because of the demands of the job. In general, all applicants have to subject themselves to four separate assessments after entering an application, and these will always include the aptitude, character analysis, fitness and physical assessments. All of these are usually going to have to be paid for by the applicant, and done according to the department's standards. Some have no order at all, and others have a very particular set of guidelines. 

This is something we cover in a later chapter, but it is only someone who has made it through the tests and application process who gets called for the interview. This is always going to be held before a committee and it will always be in the region in which you will get the work. So, be sure that the interview takes place in a city or area in which you are willing and able to work!

Whether a volunteer or a paid firefighter, you will have to enter into a program of intensive training. Some are 12 to 16 weeks in duration, and some are longer. This training is both physical and mental. You will also begin to learn how to use all of the equipment, including:

  1. Fire trucks and how to drive them
  2. Ladders and how to utilize them
  3. Breathing apparatus and safety
  4. The mechanics of fire and firefighting

If you get through the application and training, you will be invited into a six month (or longer) probationary period that determines if you will be invited to become a permanent firefighter.

HOW TO BECOME AN AUSTRALIAN FIREFIGHTER Career Guide

Here’s what is included within the guide:

ESSENTIAL TIPS AND ADVICE ON PREPARING FOR THE AUSTRALIAN FIREFIGHTER SELECTION PROCESS

  • Explanations and in-depth advice on what the Firefighter’s role actually is.
  • Tips and strategies from serving AUS Firefighters on how to prepare correctly for the tough selection process.
  • How to pass the Australian Firefighter interview with the highest scores possible.
  • Actual example interview questions with guidance from experts on how to answer them.
  • How and where to apply to become an Australian Firefighter, including application form tips.
  • What the assessors are looking for from candidates, and how you can increase your chances of success.

SAMPLE FIREFIGHTER TESTS AND COMPREHENSIVE INTERVIEW PREPARATION

  • Expert advice and guidance on what the Firefighter tests will involve.
  • Preparing effectively for the tests, with lots of sample test questions.
  • Sample concentration testing tool.
  • Includes lots of sample psychometric test questions and answers.
  • Sample interview questions and what the assessors will expect from you.
  • How to answer each interview question effectively and how to focus on safety.
  • How to respond to each of the interview questions.
  • Insider tips on how to score high.

Plus - FREE ACCESS TO ONLINE FIREFIGHTER TESTS!

You will instantly receive 30-days FREE access to our brilliant online Firefighter testing suite. After the 30-day free trial is over, the service is automatically charged at just $7.21 per month with no minimum term. See our terms and conditions at the bottom of the page. You will get FREE 30-days access to hundreds of tests, including Firefighter tests, which are a main part of the selection process.

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