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Stage 3 - Medical assessment

The role of a firefighter is physically demanding and involves safety-critical tasks, therefore FRNSW needs to ensure all applicants have the health and medical fitness to perform the inherent requirements of the role of a firefighter. Candidates being considered for appointment to the position of a firefighter are required to undergo a comprehensive medical examination. The medical process aims to establish whether there are any pre-existing medical conditions that would prevent or hinder a candidate from effectively and safely carrying out firefighting duties which may put the individual, their colleagues or the community at risk.  

Candidates will be asked to complete an employment health and medical assessment (EHA) questionnaire covering occupational history as well as past and current medical history.

The EHA is conducted in line with an evidence-based health standard designed to reveal if applicants have a significant medical condition affecting any of the following body systems:

  • cardiovascular disorders
  • respiratory disorders
  • neurological disorders
  • psychological disorders
  • endocrine disorders such as diabetes or renal disease
  • orthopaedic issues or
  • visual or hearing disorders.

These medical conditions may hinder the suitability of employment as a firefighter, however each applicant will be individually assessed on a case-by-case basis by the FRNSW Occupational Physician.

For those candidates who progress to the medical they will undergo a series of tests including:

  • pathology tests
  • electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • measures of height and weight to calculate body mass index
  • vision  - near, distance, colour and binocular
  • blood pressure and heart rate
  • hearing 
  • lung function test (spirometry) 
  • medical examination by the FRNSW Occupational Physician.

The FRNSW Occupational Physician will assess the candidate’s suitability for the role of firefighter based on all the information available to them.  Candidates who do not meet the required standards for any part of the medical examination will not be offered a position as a firefighter.

Offer of employment

Candidates who have successfully progressed through the recruitment stages may then be offered a place in the recruit training program. Written offers of employment will be made to an equal number of the most meritorious male and female candidates based on performance at interview and the other components of the recruitment process.

Unsuccessful notifications will also be made by email at this point.

Recruit training program

Candidates who accept an offer of employment will attend 13 weeks of recruit training at the FRNSW State Training College. Candidates will be paid at the Recruit Firefighter level while they are completing the 13-week recruit training course.

Training within FRNSW is extremely diverse and includes the use of fire appliances and pump operations, extension ladders, breathing apparatus, hazardous materials, fire science and behaviour, rescue equipment, first aid, radio networks and computer response systems, the basics of building construction, varying methods of water and electricity supply, occupational health and safety and wild fire behaviour and suppression. Attainment of a Senior First Aid (including CPR) and MR driver’s licence are part of the program. There are also ongoing fitness assessments for all new recruits.

The majority of the recruit training is conducted at the FRNSW State Training College at Alexandria, however some training will take place at our facilities at Ingleburn and Londonderry. On those days it is your responsibility to report to those locations at the allotted time.

Graduation

At the successful completion of the 13 weeks recruit training you will graduate as a Level 1 Firefighter. You will be presented with your certificate (Certificate II in Public Safety) by the FRNSW Commissioner at a graduation ceremony at the State Training College, Alexandria. This is also an opportunity for you to invite family and friends to show them the skills and knowledge you have learnt during the training.