2018 Firefighter recruitment campaign seeks diverse skills and experience

PROTECT THE IRREPLACABLE: Zone Commander Gary Barber is encouraging men and women with diverse skills and experience to pursue a career as a firefighter. Photo: FILE
PROTECT THE IRREPLACABLE: Zone Commander Gary Barber is encouraging men and women with diverse skills and experience to pursue a career as a firefighter. Photo: FILE

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is calling on men and women in the community to join its ranks and serve the community.

A new firefighter recruitment campaign has been launched to encourage people with diverse skills and experience to pursue a career as a firefighter.

Zone Commander for Western Slopes Gary Barber said the campaign is designed to attract the largest possible pool of candidates for permanent (Sydney full time) and retained (local on-call) firefighter positions. 

“It’s more than just firefighting, what we do now in communities is we do a lot of ambulance assistance, we assist with educating firefighters, we do a lot of community engagement, a lot of rescue calls that sort of stuff as well,” Zone Commander Barber said. 

Because of the diversity of the role, Zone Commander Barber said the campaign is targeting applicants from a wide range of industries and fields, including people who may never have previously considered to apply. 

“So somebody who in the past might have thought they wouldn’t apply because it was just walking into very hot buildings or bush fires, there’s so much more that’s almost just a very small part of what we do,” Zone Commander Barber said. 

“We do specialisations in fire safety, fire investigation any of those kind of skills that thinks this might be for them are encouraged to apply.”

Zone Commander Barber said the campaign hopes to strengthen the emergency service, and aims to recruit over 300 retained firefighters over the next calendar year.

“FRNSW covers all the urban areas in NSW, so we cover 95 per cent of the population.

“We’ve got a saying now that goes ‘protect the irreplaceable’ and that’s what we’re trying to get across is that we need people from the community to join FRNSW to do a job that if no one’s there to do, people could end up in harm.”

Applicants will need to complete an online application and undergo a series of tests, including problem solving and a Physical Aptitude Test.However Zone Commander Barber said residents shouldn’t be discouraged by the fitness testing. 

“The fitness testing is now really designed around the fitness of the jobs that we do … If you’re able to lift a ladder and pull a few things, you’ll be right. Most people are right to pass our physical test at the moment.”

Zone Commander Barber is encouraging anyone who is interested in applying to call into the Narromine station or contact the Dubbo office on 6882 9688 to speak with someone about the role. 

“For Narromine locals we’ve got Matthew Havercroft who was a retained firefighter at Narromine for a lot of years and then joined the permanent firefighters, moved to Sydney and he’s moved back to the Dubbo office.”

“We’re asking people to consider how they can help and if they want to help certainly the opportunity is there right now to apply and at least speak to somebody.”

Candidates who are offered a place in the recruitment intake will undergo training at the new state-of-the-art FRNSW Emergency Services Academy, which will welcome its first class of recruit firefighters in 2019.

Applications close on November 19, 2018.

For more information visit: www.fire.nsw.gov.au/recruitment