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Permanent Firefighter Recruitment FAQ

APPLICATIONS

If I have applied previously do I have to apply again?

Yes. Previous applications are not considered in the current recruitment campaign.

I would like more information on permanent firefighter recruitment. Can an application pack be posted to me?

This website is the main point of reference for interested candidates as information on the recruitment process is updated regularly. Applications can only be submitted online via our website.

Candidates are welcome to attend free information sessions. Click here for further information and to make a booking.

How do I complete an application?

Applications must be submitted online at www.fire.nsw.gov.au by completing all questions and uploading a copy of your driver licence (as a PDF, Word or HTML file*). When your application has been successfully completed you will be invited to participate in the first online assessment after the period for applications has closed.

Fire & Rescue NSW is committed to ensuring that security, integrity and privacy is not compromised at any stage of the recruitment process and will carry out systematic ID checks on applications and candidates progressing through the recruitment stages will be subject to online test verification.

*If uploading a photo of your driver’s licence taken with a mobile device, save the photo (jpeg) file and insert into an acceptable file (e.g. a Word document), save this new document and upload to your application.

If I applied for the role of permanent firefighter at Fire & Rescue NSW within 2015, do I need to complete the assessments again?

To ensure all candidates have an equal opportunity to perform and there is no advantage by practise, you will not be able to complete a Revelian (formerly known as Onetest) recruitment assessment again within 12 months. 

If you have applied for a position with another organisation which uses Revelian (Onetest) assessments, within the last 12 months, you will be asked to release your previous responses. Your previous results will then be compared to the chosen comparison group for this recruitment campaign, and your percentile score may be different from the first time you completed the assessment.

Is there a limit to how many times I can apply?

You are only permitted to submit ONE application in each recruitment campaign. However if you have been unsuccessful in previous campaigns you may apply again.

If, at any time, you are found to be in breach of Revelian’s testing protocols your application will not be progressed.

Any candidate who deliberately supplies false, incomplete or misleading information in an attempt to gain employment with FRNSW will be automatically disqualified from further consideration for employment. 

I do not have access to a computer or an email address. How do I apply?

All correspondence between Fire & Rescue NSW and candidates is by email. Candidates without a computer / internet access should use computers available at municipal libraries or internet cafes. You can also register for a free email account with providers such as Yahoo http://mail.yahoo.com, Hotmail/Outlook www.outlook.com or GMail www.gmail.com.

I am having trouble completing my application. What can I do?

Check you have answered all questions in the online application form. Some questions are designed to identify candidates who don’t meet entry requirements e.g. minimum Australian Provisional P2 driving licence and minimum educational qualifications. If you do not meet these, your application cannot be progressed. A copy of your current driver licence (as a PDF, Word or JPEG file) is also required as part of your application. (See ‘How do I complete an application?’ above)

Can any of the recruitment tests be undertaken interstate?

The online components can be completed anywhere. The Physical Aptitude Test (PAT), verification test, interviews and medicals are all conducted in Sydney only.

ELIGIBILTY

Is there an age limit?

No, but you must have a current motor vehicle driver licence (or equivalent which can be transferred to an Australian licence) when applying. The minimum is a Provisional P2 – green licence.

Can I apply if I have a criminal record?

All applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, however some serious offences may mean applications are not progressed.

Do I have to be a permanent resident or citizen?

Yes. Applications are only accepted from Australian and New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of Australia. 

Fire & Rescue NSW does not sponsor applicants with other citizenships through the visa application process. If you are a New Zealand citizen, you are eligible to work in Australia. You will however need to:

  • provide proof of eligibility to work in Australia, e.g. a copy of your valid New Zealand passport
  • have a current and valid driver licence that can be transferred to a NSW driver licence (Provisional P2 or above).

Do I need to have a MR (Medium Rigid) licence?

No, but in addition to their driver licence, candidates must be prepared to obtain an MR licence log book from Roads & Maritime (RMS) as part of FRNSW conditions of employment for permanent firefighters.

I have a medical condition. Can I apply?

Candidates must satisfy all Fire & Rescue NSW medical requirements to progress. While all applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, some medical conditions have been identified as significant for firefighters, e.g.

  • diabetes (or disease of other organs, e.g. eyes, kidney, heart, vascular system or neurological system)
  • asthma
  • total knee or hip replacement
  • significant hip, knee or ankle degenerative arthritis
  • hip, knee or ankle injury (with significant loss of range of movement).

Colour vision deficiency is no longer a barrier to employment as a permanent firefighter. 

All applicants should ensure that information from treating doctors/specialists relating to any pre-existing medical conditions is available at the time of their medical assessment. This will allow timely assessment and avoid delays the processing of their applications.

Am I at a disadvantage if I am female or from a culturally diverse background?

No. Fire & Rescue NSW is one of the world’s largest urban emergency services agencies and seeks to employ people who reflect its professionalism and values, and the diversity, culture and skills of our society.

This year we are building on last year’s effort to attract more female applicants by splitting male and female applicants into separate streams during the application stage. In recent years all applicants have been grouped together in one stream, with approximately 80% of the applications received coming from male candidates. Through sheer weight of numbers this has disadvantaged female candidates who apply.

Generally we receive in the vicinity of 7,000 applications for around 120 firefighting positions.
Experience from previous campaigns tells us that we could fill all 120 roles with suitable male candidates and we could fill all 120 roles with suitable female candidates. So it only fair therefore to have equity with 60 male and 60 female recruits – it provides male and female candidates access to the same opportunity.

Can I have a part-time job while employed as a permanent firefighter?

Yes, provided there is no conflict of interest and your priority is to your primary employment as a permanent firefighter with FRNSW.

SELECTION PROCESS

What does the recruitment process involve?

The application process is highly competitive – in the 2015 campaign Fire & Rescue NSW received over 7,000 applications for just 120 positions.

The application process comprises several steps, including completing an online application form, online testing, physical assessment test, interviews and other assessments. For more information on the process, come along to one of the information sessions (see applications section) or view the Candidate Information Guide.

Are there courses I can take to improve my chances of gaining a position?

The minimum education requirement is the Higher School Certificate or equivalent. Initial progression is on the basis of online assessments that consider work behaviours and ability based on Fire & Rescue NSW’s values. Completion or progression towards a fire or emergency services qualification may enhance a candidate’s performance at interview (should this stage be reached) but will not guarantee their progression or placement with Fire & Rescue NSW.

Does training in the NSW Rural Fire Service or other emergency services such as SES help?

Previous experience and qualifications related to community work may enhance a candidate’s performance at interview, but does not guarantee they will be more competitive or gain employment with Fire & Rescue NSW.

Do you have any study booklets to help prepare for the online assessments?

There are four separate tests which have been designed to identify your strengths and potential in relation to working as a firefighter.

The online tests consider cognitive ability and emotional intelligence, and attitudes towards work safety and work reliability. There is no need to study for the assessments however candidates may wish to view websites that offer insights into cognitive aptitude and psychometric testing including https://app.revelian.com/contact.cfm. You can also access an example cognitive ability test at http://www.revelian.com/example-questions-cognitive-ability/

It is most important to be well rested and in a quiet environment which is free of distractions.

Do you have guidelines to help prepare for the Physical Aptitude Test (PAT)?

Yes. You can download a copy of the Fire Fit Training Guide from the Fire & Rescue NSW website. The website also includes videos of each stage of the PAT http://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=460.

Do you have any guidelines to help prepare for the interview?

The interview will seek further information regarding the capabilities required for the position. You will be expected to articulate your motivation for wanting to become a firefighter and the benefits you can bring to Fire & Rescue NSW. You should also be prepared to answer behavioural based / scenario questions. Do not assume that if you reach this stage the interview is simply a formality. It is a critical part of the selection process and is subject to rigorous assessment.

You can download a copy of the Preparing for Interview Guide from the Fire & Rescue NSW website. The guide will give you a greater understanding of the interview process and how best to prepare.

Do I have to pay for any of the recruitment selection testing?

The majority of stages in the recruitment process are managed by Fire & Rescue NSW however candidates will need to pay for the following should they be progressed fully along the recruitment process:

  • internet access (e.g. at an internet café)
  • travel and related costs such as accommodation
  • medical clearances, pathology, ECG reports and specialist reports.

RECRUIT TRAINING

Do I get paid during my initial training to become a firefighter?

Recruits are paid the recruit firefighter award rate during their initial training period.

Where and when does the Recruit Training Program take place?

The Recruit Training Program takes place at the Training College, Alexandria from Monday to Friday. The course runs for 13 weeks with hours varying according to the scheduled training. Please note that while most of your training will take place at the FRNSW Training College at Alexandria, some training will take place at:

  • Ingleburn – 50 Lancaster Avenue, Ingleburn
  • Londonderry – 667 The Northern Road, Londonderry
  • Liverpool – Liverpool Fire Station, corner of Anzac Road and Delfin Drive, Moorebank
  • Terrey Hills – Corner of Myoora and Tepko roads, Terrey Hills.

What happens at the Recruit Training Program?

The course comprises intensive practical and theoretical instruction. Assignments and tests are used to assess recruits’ competency for each subject. Recruits must attain the required standard for each subject.

Is there a probationary period?

Yes, until progression to the rank of Firefighter (or for a period of six months, whichever is the lesser).

EMPLOYMENT AND CONDITIONS

Can I transfer between fire stations in the Sydney metropolitan area?

Yes, there is an opportunity to be considered for transfers in consultation with local zone management. The transfer request is dealt with on a case-by-case basis depending on operational requirements.

Can I transfer to a fire station outside of the Sydney metropolitan area as soon as I finish my initial training?

Firefighters are generally stationed in the greater Sydney area. Firefighters are eligible to go on a transfer register for stations outside that area, but opportunities to transfer to regional areas are limited.

Can I transfer from another state fire service to Fire & Rescue NSW?

No, there is no lateral transfer policy. Candidates from other state fire services must complete the standard application process.

Do I receive extra penalties for working at night or on public holidays?

No. A firefighter is paid a ‘rate of pay’. This includes the ordinary time rate of pay for an operational firefighter as well as the ‘shift allowance’, ‘loading’ and an ‘industry allowance’.

Can firefighters take their holidays during school holidays or anytime they want to?

No. Firefighters are rostered into a leave group with leave taken when their group’s leave period falls due. Recruit firefighters must also complete a defined period of service before they are able to access periods of annual leave.

Who can I contact for more information?

For enquiries please email recruitment@fire.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 9265 2633.