New recruit Kiah Taylor at Fire and Rescue NSW City of Sydney Fire Station. Picture: Justin Lloyd
New recruit Kiah Taylor at Fire and Rescue NSW City of Sydney Fire Station. Picture: Justin Lloyd

Firefighter jobs to attract 6000

ASPIRING firefighters, it is time to get training - as many as 120 of the highly-sought after jobs are about to become available in New South Wales.

The summer's horrific bushfires may no longer be front of mind as the country turns it attention to the coronavirus pandemic but about 6000 applications are still expected as Fire and Rescue NSW kicks off its 2020 recruitment drive.

Chief superintendent Brendan Cox said although they were not working to a set figure, a typical recruitment drive identified 100 to 120 suitable candidates from 5000 to 6000 applicants.

"COVID-19 has reinforced the need for frontline emergency services workers," he said.

"We are certainly a preferred employer in difficult times."

Fire crews work to contain a fire in Canberra on January 23. Picture: Rohan Thomson/Getty Images
Fire crews work to contain a fire in Canberra on January 23. Picture: Rohan Thomson/Getty Images

Applications for the upcoming intake do not open until July 24 but now is the time to begin preparing for the tough recruitment process.

Supt Cox encouraged would-be firefighters to use the resources on the FRNSW website to refine interview techniques and train for the physical aptitude test.

Those who started the 12-week Fire Fit Training Guide this weekend would be ready in time.

Two information sessions for female applicants were cancelled last month to comply with social distancing regulations, however two more were still scheduled for June.

Supt Cox said FRNSW recruited people with a range of backgrounds, from Defence to teaching to physiotherapy to trades.

People who found themselves out of work in the economic fallout of COVID-19 were encouraged to consider a career change into the emergency services sector.

"We are looking for people from all walks of life," he said.

"Our job is about more than fire - it requires broad skills, so it includes people who have never considered being firefighters before.

"(We are looking for) well-developed emotional intelligence, cognitive skills, understanding of safety requirements and people with strong values in line with the Fire and Rescue NSW values of respect, integrity, service and courage."

Junior firefighter Kiah Taylor at City of Sydney Fire Station. Picture: Justin Lloyd
Junior firefighter Kiah Taylor at City of Sydney Fire Station. Picture: Justin Lloyd

Recent recruit Kiah Taylor, 22, graduated from the Emergency Services Academy in February and was now working at the City of Sydney Fire Station as a junior firefighter.

The Bulli resident, who is also studying nursing, had previously worked as an ocean lifeguard.

"This was my second time applying," she said.

"It's a super rigorous process with the initial stages of cognitive and psychological aptitude testing then physical aptitude testing and interviews.

"(I recommend applying if you have a background in) volunteering, community engagement, and living an active lifestyle."

Although Victoria's Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) had not yet set dates for their next firefighter recruitment campaign, both encouraged people to consider the career when applications did open.

An MFB spokeswoman said firefighting was an exciting and challenging career option best suited to people with a genuine desire to serve the community, and who thrived on working in a team.

"MFB strongly believes our fire and rescue services should represent the diverse communities we serve, which is why we are actively looking to recruit more women and people from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds into our ranks," she said.

A QFES spokeswoman said planning was underway for a Queensland recruitment campaign commencing in 2021.



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