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No Formal Qualifications Year 10 Preferred Year 12 Preferred On The Job Training Interview Aptitude Tests Medical Exams Police Check Australian Citizen Licence First Aid

Firefighters control and extinguish fires and protect life, property and the environment as members of fire brigades.

Firefighters wear uniforms, breathing apparatus and other personal protective equipment when dealing with emergency incidents.

They are required to work both day and night shifts in order to maintain a 24-hour service.

Due to the nature of shiftwork, firefighters work several days on followed by several days off.


    Firefighters may perform the following tasks:

  • respond to emergency calls regarding fires, vehicle accidents, rescues and other emergency situations
  • undertake activities designed to prevent fires and help communities prepare for emergency situations
  • drive or crew firefighting appliances or other vehicles to fires or incident scenes
  • provide support in response to natural disasters such as floods and cyclones
  • operate pumps and spray foam or water from hoses, portable extinguishers or other appliances to extinguish fires, or to disperse or neutralise dangerous substances such as chemicals and petroleum
  • rescue people stranded or trapped in dangerous situations or inaccessible places using ladders or elevating platforms, or by cutting openings in buildings or crashed vehicles to free occupants
  • respond to industrial accidents
  • administer first aid and oxygen therapy
  • communicate with other emergency response personnel using radios, computers and other communication technology
  • take part in ongoing training in firefighting techniques and professional development
  • visit buildings to assess entry/exit points and locations of hydrants, identify potential fire hazards and ensure they comply with fire codes
  • inspect and maintain firefighting equipment and hydrants
  • undertake public education tasks, including school visits, demonstrations, first aid, firefighting training and lectures
  • undertake administrative duties
  • train industrial and volunteer firefighters


  • good communication skills
  • enjoy helping people and contributing to community safety
  • able to work as part of a team
  • enjoy practical work
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • able to pass a medical examination
  • able to work under pressure
  • able to work at heights and in confined spaces
  • willing to undertake ongoing training and professional development

Interest Area

Manual/Practical Outdoor


No Formal Qualifications Year 10 Preferred Year 12 Preferred On The Job Training Interview Aptitude Tests Medical Exams Police Check Australian Citizen Licence First Aid

You can work as a firefighter without formal qualifications, but employers usually require you to gain your HSC or ACT Year 10. You will receive training on the job and through in-house training courses.

Applicants who meet the basic criteria undergo a multi-stage selection process, which may include written tests, psychological testing, interviews, physical aptitude testing, a medical examination, referee checks and a National Police Check. Unsuccessful results at any stage of selection will result in failure to progress to the next stage.

In NSW, successful applicants are appointed as recruit firefighters and undergo 13 weeks of initial training. Upon completion, they are assigned to a fire station and complete ongoing training, study and assessment. The process to become a qualified firefighter takes approximately three years.

In the ACT, new recruits undergo extensive training at the Emergency Services Agency's training centre at Hume for a period of 90 training days.

Additional Information

    To work as a firefighter, you must be an Australian citizen or have permanent resident status. In NSW, you must have a minimum of a current Provisional (Green P2) drivers licence and provide a driving history record. In the ACT, you must hold a current, full and unrestricted drivers licence and confirmation of completion of a Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Assessment. Alternatively, you may hold a current unrestricted medium rigid drivers licence. You must also obtain a Provide First Aid Certificate.


Most NSW firefighters are located in the Sydney metropolitan area.

Some are employed in the smaller cities and towns. In the ACT, firefighters may be required to work anywhere in the region.

Competition for available positions is very strong as there are always plenty of applicants.

Federal, state or territory public services and some large commercial and industrial organisations employ experienced firefighters as fire prevention officers. Local governments in rural locations employ firefighters as bushfire prevention officers.

Fire and Rescue NSW recruits have the opportunity to progress through the ranks, and there is also the opportunity to specialise in particular areas such as fire research and investigation, hazardous materials response, counterterrorism, aviation and rescue.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Firefighter ACT Fire and Rescue Fire and Rescue NSW Recruitment

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