How to become a Firefighter
Do you want to make a difference? Do you work well under pressure? Do you think you’re up to the physical challenge of being a firefighter?
What is a Firefighter?
Firefighters protect the environment and people by controlling and extinguishing fires. They respond to emergency situations including medical emergencies, natural disasters or traffic incidents.
As a firefighter you would be involved in searching for and rescuing victims from burning buildings and accident sites. You may also need to administer first aid and CPR to injured people.
Firefighting operations would usually require you to drive and operate firefighting vehicles and equipment such as pumps, hoses and portable extinguishers. You would also need to disperse or neutralise hazardous substances like chemicals and petroleum, inspect and maintain firefighting equipment and hydrants.
Firefighters must learn about the different types of fires and be knowledgeable of construction design, building materials and the physical layout of properties.
Being a firefighter would require you to have the ability to work under pressure and the physical capabilities to cope with the demands of the job. You will also need to have practical skills and a passion for helping people and contributing to community safety. You must be prepared to work at extreme heights and in confined spaces.
Hours & Conditions:
Firefighters usually work shifts which are generally several days followed by several days off. They are based at fire stations and may sleep, eat and remain on call at these stations during their shifts.
Because of the dangerous nature of their work, firefighters wear special uniforms and other protective clothing and breathing gear especially when they respond to emergency situations.
How to become a Firefighter: Qualifications
Firefighters are not required to have formal qualifications but employers will usually ask you to obtain your junior secondary school certificate or equivalent. You will receive your training on the job and attend training courses.
If you apply for a role as a firefighter, you would undergo a staged selection process which will include written tests, psychological testing, interviews, physical aptitude testing, a medical examination, referee checks and a National Police Check. Applicants must pass each stage of the process in order to proceed to the next one.
To be employed as a firefighter, you would need to be an Australian citizen or have permanent resident status. You must also get a Provide First Aid Certificate. Requirements for driver’s license vary from state to state.
To look at courses that will help you find a role as a firefighter, check out
Employment of firefighters is projected to grow in line with the average for all occupations. More job opportunities are expected as the steady growth in population creates a higher demand for a full-time firefighting workforce. Additionally, an aging population will result in a greater need for emergency responders like firefighters who are trained to handle medical emergencies.