18 September 2019

ACT Fire and Rescue puts out final call for recruits

| Michael Weaver
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ACT Fire and Rescue Service

Two firefighters from the ACT Fire and Rescue Service. Photo: Supplied.

There’s less than one week to go until applications close for the latest round of ACT Fire and Rescue firefighter recruitment.

ACT Fire and Rescue Commander Kath Bonn said prospective firefighters will need to go through an intensive process before graduating to the frontlines.

Commander Bonn has been in the service for more than 18 years. She believes the most important thing to consider when applying for the job is to make sure you are organised and ready for what’s in store.

“Research the role and talk to current firefighters,” says Commander Bonn. “Talk to your family and friends to ensure the career would fit in with your personal life and other responsibilities.”

Commander Bonn said the key to becoming a firefighter is the same as having a fire plan when the fire danger is imminent.

“Preparedness is key. We encourage all applicants to have a thorough understanding of each component of the recruitment process. Give yourself time to prepare for each stage.”

Submitting an application is probably the easiest part. The recruitment process then has five stages which take around three months to complete.

This includes an aptitude test of about three to four hours which will test a range of skills including verbal, numerical, abstract and spatial reasoning.

Applicants who pass the aptitude test are invited to attend a cardiovascular challenge test known as a beep test of shuttle runs over 20 metres, where a level of 9.6 must be obtained.

Suitable candidates are then invited to attend an assessment centre where a physical aptitude test, teamwork exercises and an initial interview are conducted.

Successful applicants at this stage are then invited to formal interviews.

The final stage sees shortlisted applicants attend medical and psychometric assessment sessions.

Potential recruits then attend recruit college.

“Recruit college is tough both mentally and physically. It’s challenging yet rewarding. You need support from your family and friends.

“You will form a bond with your classmates during this time, which will stick with you for life.

“Know the job you’re applying for. Know yourself. Know how you can do the job.”

Commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Agency Georgeina Whelan said the organisation is embarking on an exciting period of innovation to ensure it remains at the forefront of the ACT’s emergency response capability.

“As the ACT grows, we are continuing to enhance the capabilities of the ESA to ensure we remain one of Australia’s leading and most trusted emergency management organisations,” Commissioner Whelan said.

For further information on how to apply, go to the firefighter recruitment page on the ACT Emergency Services website.

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To me thereal heroes are the volunteer bush firies who put their lives on the line by standing in front of firestorms every summer.

I have always been appalled by the “urban” firies attitude towards the volunteer bush fire brigades – or “Ferals” – as they refer to them. They could learn a thing or two about humility.

I was trained by the ACT F&ES back when we were starting up the Community Fire Units 18 or so years ago. Given that the selction and training cannot hav been loosened.

I can say that these people are as brave, if not a good bit more so than the infantry-men I trained in the 1970s. ? Way back then it was common for the Army to be called out for bush fires.

Agree wholeheartedly, TimboinOz. Hats off to all of our emergency services people (both paid and volunteers) for their service and unquestionable bravery.

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