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Aviation Firefighter

Australian Citizen Medical Exams Aptitude Tests Interview Minimum Age 18+ First Aid Licence

Aviation firefighters fight fires in aircraft and buildings at airports, provide rescue and first-aid services for aircraft passengers and crew, provide technical advice about fire safety and assist in educating airport users about firefighting and safety.

The majority of aviation firefighters in Australia are employed by Airservices Australia in the Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) service.

Shiftwork is compulsory. At many locations, the ARFF service operates 24 hours per day. However, at smaller locations the service may be provided for fewer hours.

The length of individual shifts varies between 10 and 16 hours, depending on the requirements of the location, with shifts organised around a rotating roster.


    Aviation firefighters may perform the following tasks:

  • assist in the evacuation of people in life-threatening situations using mobile high-performance vehicles and watercraft
  • fight fires using a range of equipment, such as hoses, foam sprayers and monitors
  • administer first aid
  • protect property endangered by fires
  • protect the environment (as necessary) in an emergency situation
  • participate in organised drills for fire control and rescue work
  • conduct fire safety inspections and inspect fire alarm boards
  • test and maintain fire vehicles, hoses and other equipment
  • assist in the operation of the Fire Control Centre at airports
  • observe aircraft arrivals and departures


  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • able to swim
  • comfortable working at heights
  • comfortable working in confined spaces
  • able to work in a structured service environment
  • able to work as part of a team
  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • meet Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulations for colour vision
  • Australian citizenship or permanent residency

Interest Area

Outdoor Helping/Community Service Manual/Practical


Australian Citizen Medical Exams Aptitude Tests Interview Minimum Age 28+ First Aid Licence

To become an aviation firefighter you must successfully complete a range of physical and physiological tests, an interview, a comprehensive medical examination and an aptitude test.

To be appointed as an aviation firefighter, successful recruits must attend and pass an 11-week training course in public safety (fire fighting and emergency operations). The training is held at Airservices Australia's Learning Academy in Melbourne. Details of all aspects of this occupation, including training and vacancies, can be found on Airservices Australia's website.

Additional Information

    Aviation firefighters need to be over 18, hold a current Provide First Aid Certificate, a current manual drivers licence and either hold, or be eligible to gain, a Heavy Rigid Vehicle licence. Aviation firefighters wishing to work at a station with water rescue equipment will also need to hold a Bronze Medallion (or equivalent) or be able to pass a water competency assessment.


Airservices Australia provides a rescue and firefighting service at 22 airport locations around Australia. Vacancies are limited, and the selection process is held only when vacancies occur. Competition for positions is very strong.

Opportunities to become an aviation firefighter also exist after joining the Australian Defence Force.

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