CFA Firefighter Recruitment 2016 Insight

cfa firefighter recruitment

With the CFA accepting applications starting on the 7th of march I thought it would be good to share some insight from CFA’s head of firefighter recruitment.

I have highlighted some of what he speaks about as what I would see as important to focus on if you were looking to apply for a job as a firefighter with CFA.

CFA has been recruiting heavily over the past year or two and looks to continue that trend this year. I would say that this will not continue for ever so do not put it off and miss this magnificent opportunity to become a professional firefighter. I honestly believe this is the biggest opportunity seen in Australia and in the history of any fire service for aspiring firefighters.

“Well today part of the recruitment process for career firefighters we are actually allowing candidates to come up to the school and have a good go at the challenge element, or the strength testing element of our recruitment process, to give them the opportunity really to have a go at all the different activities that they’re going to be tested on later in the process.

Pretty much we’ve been doing that for all our stages in terms of getting candidates to put a bit of preparation in. It’s not like in other jobs.

You’ve actually got to do a little bit of work to educate yourself to cope with moving into this career. It’s very challenging. There’s a lot of variety to this career. We’re trying to sort of get that point across from the very beginning, that you need to be a little bit good at everything for this type of job”.

What sort of tests are we demonstrating here for them today?

“Well today actually it’s a mix of, we’ve got some aptitude testing going on inside. Then outside they come out and have a go at our recruit firefighter challenge. That involves pulling up a 20 kilo container up a couple of stories. There’s a dummy drag that weighs about 70 kilos. There’s a beam walk. There’s a hose drag. All elements that are part of the job, and a shock to the system. It’s to give them a little bit of practice at how to go about handling, and also to do some self assessment in terms of where they’re at now”.

“We’re looking for people that are good natured, want to work in the community, understand that we’re a volunteer organization, and that these roles support and work alongside volunteers, so they need to have that understanding. They need to be good coaches and educators because they’re going to be training volunteers, they’re going to be training teammates. They’re also going to be going to schools and helping train kids. The next day they could be in an elderly citizen’s home and talking to some 80 year olds. They need to have that good communication skills. They need to have excellent team skills. The role relies on you being able to work in a team. You need to have good mechanical skills. You need to be able to work mechanically, work with your hands, but you also need to be able to learn things quickly. One of the real important things is you need to be able to listen”

For these applicants here today, what is the next step in the process for them?

“Well for this group that are in today, and over the next few days, they need to get through our aptitude step. They’ll find out about that next week. Then they’ll go through a screening interview. That’ll happen with operations staff, and that’ll happen around the state. We do that in various districts around the state. If they are recommended through that screening interview, they’ll then come in and do the actual challenge that’ll take place in about 4, 5 weeks time. If they get through the challenge stage, then they make it through our final interview. At that final interview, that’s with senior operations staff, and members of HR, and a certified psychologist. That’s about an hour interview and if they can get through that there’s still a couple more stages. There’s checks. There’s referee checks, there’s police checks, and then there’ll be a full, pretty comprehensive health medical check”.

“The whole point of a lot of these exercises is getting that information out there up front so candidates know what they’re in for because look, it’s a very good job to have. It’s not many careers, or opportunities now where you’ve got a job for a career”

“Not a lot of people know enough about it. We’re now starting to sort of spread the net a little bit, and we’re getting a lot of people applying for this job that are just finding out that, “Oh, CFA. They’ve got paid jobs.” We’re having to do a lot of work to educate applicants that there’s a lot of versatility and flexibility required in this job. They’re going to be working alongside volunteers, and with volunteers, and supporting volunteers”.

They need to know that. They need to know that we’re a volunteer organization. In addition to being educated about the role, we’re also educating about who CFA really is”.

© Country Fire Authority

So I really hope this has been helpful. I wish you all the best for CFA firefighter recruitment 2016


Be sure to ask us any questions or leave a comment below.



Note: This is an insight taken from publications put out by the CFA firefighter recruitment team. It does not infer any support from anyone in the recruitment team.


Brent Clayton

After becoming a Firefighter, I developed a massive interest in the Fire Services Recruitment and Selection Processes. I've been working since 2007 to learn everything about how Fire Services Recruitment works. I've tested and refined proven methods to help people get the edge over the competition. Today, over 100 of my former students are living their Firefighter dream.

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