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Permanent Firefighter Recruitment FAQs

If you have questions not covered by the below FAQ, please email recruitment@fire.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 9265 2633.

APPLICATIONS

When do applications open/close?

Applications open 5 November 2018 and close 19 November 2018.

Where can I get more information?

Download the comprehensive Candidate Information Pack here.

Candidates are also welcome to attend the free information sessions at NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre, 37 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills on Monday, 29 October 2018. Register your attendance here.

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

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

Can an application pack be posted to me?

No. The application pack is only available online.

All correspondence between FRNSW and candidates is via email. Candidates without a computer/internet access are able to use computers available at municipal libraries or internet cafes. You can also register for a free email account with providers such as:

How do I complete an application?

Applications must be submitted online at www.fire.nsw.gov/recruitment by completing all questions and uploading a copy of your driver’s licence (as a PDF, Word or HTML file; 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).

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.

If I applied for the role of firefighter at FRNSW in 2017, do I need to complete the psychometric assessments again?

Yes. This is to ensure all candidates are equal. 

If you have applied for a position with another organisation in the past 12 months which uses Revelian (Onetest) assessments, we will ask you to release your results.

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 FRNSW 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:

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

Please check you have answered all questions in the online application form

Questions are designed to identify candidates who meet entry requirements (for example, 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 needed as part of your application.

If you do not fulfil the application criteria, your application cannot be progressed.

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.

ELIGIBLITY

Is there an age limit?

There is no age limit to apply. Applicants must hold a current motor vehicle driver’s 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.

FRNSW 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. However, you will 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’s licence (Provisional P2 or above).

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

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

I have a medical condition. Can I apply?

Candidates must satisfy all FRNSW medical requirements to progress.

All applications are considered on a case-by-case basis but some medical conditions have been identified as significant for firefighters:

  • 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).

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 avoids delaying the processing of their application.

Please note: colour vision deficiency is no longer a barrier to employment as a firefighter.

Are you looking for a particular ‘type’ of candidate among the applications?

FRNSW 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 wider community.

This year, we are building on our previous year’s efforts to attract a more diverse group of applicants.

Applications are accepted from all members of the community and are assessed on merit and physical aptitude

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

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

SELECTION PROCESS

What does the recruitment process involve?

The application process is made up of several steps:

  • Step 1 - Application Gateway - Online application form and targeted questions (also uploading of ID documents); two online assessments
  • Step 2 - Application Gateway - Physical Aptitude Test
  • Step 3 - Merit-based recruitment stages; review of targeted questions, online verification test, interview and employment checks
  • Step 4 - Medical Assessment

For more information on the process, we encourage everyone to come to one of the information sessions .

We also highly recommend you book and attend an information session but if you are unable to attend the information sessions, a video will be available on the website at a subsequent date.

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.

  • Higher School Certificate (or comparable qualification from another state) or
  • Certificate III in any discipline or
  • Trades qualified certificate or
  • 5 years’ service as a retained firefighter with FRNSW or
  • Higher educational qualification or equivalent.

Initial progression is on the basis of online assessments that consider work behaviours and ability based on FRNSW’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 FRNSW.

Does training in the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) or other emergency services such as NSW State Emergency Service (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 FRNSW.

Do you have any study information or other resources to help prepare for the online assessments?

There are five 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/ 

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

Yes. You can download a copy of the FireFit Training Guide.

You can also access videos of each stage of the PAT, which can be viewed here .

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

Yes. You can download a copy of the Preparing for Interview Guide (PDF). The guide will give you a greater understanding of the interview process and how best to prepare.

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 FRNSW.

You should also be prepared to answer behavioural-based / scenario questions. You should 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.

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

The majority of stages in the recruitment process are managed by FRNSW. 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.
  • Issue of log book from RTA

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. You can view award rate details in the FRNSW Permanent (full-time) Candidate Information Pack.

Where and when does the Recruit Training Program take place and how?

The 2019 Recruit Training Program is scheduled to take place at the FRNSW Emergency Services Academy in Orchard Hills NSW.

The new facility is a modern, state-of-the-art training campus for a modern, state-of-the-art firefighting and emergency service.

This facility will help shape the careers of future generations of firefighters whose journey with FRNSW will see them engage in firefighting plus so much more:

  • prevention education and training at a local, state, national and international level to build resilient communities – reducing both the likelihood and impact of emergencies
  • all manner of rescues incidents
  • hazardous materials incidents
  • supporting ambulance with emergency medical care
  • natural disasters and humanitarian relief deployments both within Australia and overseas
  • supporting NSW Police with countering the effects of terrorism events

What happens at the Recruit Training Program?

The course is made up of intensive practical and theoretical instruction. Assignments and tests are used to assess recruit competency for each subject. Recruits must attain the required standard for each subject.

What training is provided to new recruits?

Candidates who are offered a place at the end of the recruitment process will undergo a 13-week Recruit Training Program commencing in April 2019 with hours varying according to a schedule.

The course is made up of intensive practical and theoretical instruction covering areas such as safety, gaining access, structural firefighting and HAZMAT, Operational training and Rescue.

Assignments and tests are used to assess recruit competency for each subject. Recruits must attain the required standard for each subject.

Recruits are trained to deal with high-rise fires, heavy vehicle crashes natural disaster relief in Australia and overseas and hazardous material incidents.

Our recruits are also trained in fire science, advanced rescue techniques and emergency medical care. They are even trained to deal with the consequences of terrorist attacks – another occupational requirement of the new era.

FRNSW is a registered training organisation, and your qualifications achieved at recruit training will be nationally recognised.

FRNSW firefighters are prepared for anything – ready to help anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Is there a probationary period?

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

Can I get recognition of prior study/work with other services?

During the recruit training program you will still be required to complete all stages of the training as it is position specific.

Will qualifications achieved with FRNSW be nationally recognised?

FRNSW is a registered training organisation, and your qualifications achieved at recruit training will be nationally recognised.

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. Transfer request are dealt with on a case-by-case basis depending on operational requirements but FRNSW offers no guarantees.

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, and can often take many years.

Can I transfer from another state fire service to FRNSW?

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?

Recruit firefighters must complete a defined period of service before they are able to access periods of annual leave.

Once a recruit firefighter is assigned a platoon, they are rostered into a leave group, with leave taken when their group’s leave period falls due. They are then able to plan other life commitments far into the future, providing a large degree of certainty.

FRNSW also recognises, however, that this may become restrictive as a firefighter’s personal situation evolves throughout their career. In this situation a firefighter is encouraged to negotiate a flexible roster that accommodates their circumstances and the operational needs of the organisation. FRNSW currently has a variety of flexible rosters operating to accommodate the particular circumstances of some of its firefighters.

There is also the opportunity to enter into job sharing arrangements with other firefighters. This can allow two or more firefighters to reduce their hours of work to balance other commitments like childcare arrangements.

In addition, instead of accessing leave for significant, one-off events, firefighters can arrange a ‘Part Change of Shift’ with firefighters from other platoons. This means that another firefighter would work either part-of or a whole shift in return for that being re-payed at a future date.