How to become a firefighter in NSW
Become A Firefighter In NSW in 12 months or less - Even if you have failed multiple times
This article is specific to becoming a firefighter in the state of NSW Australia.
I will not be wasting time on general how to's that can already be found on the "How to become a firefighter in Australia" Page.
To remove any confusion I'm talking about how to become a firefighter with Fire & Rescue NSW
Case Study: Trent M - NSW Firefighter
Here is a picture of Trent below with his letter of offer from Fire & Rescue NSW. Trent had tried 5 times or 5 years and been unsuccessful. When he used the methods I'm showing you below he managed to do a complete 180 and become a firefighter in NSW that very same year.
The reason I share this is to illustrate the time you can waste if you don't have the right approach and guidance.
Competition in NSW Firefighter Recruitment
Fire & rescue NSW is without doubt the most competitive fire service in Australia. Over the last decade or so I have been following firefighter recruitment in NSW the amount of applicants has fluctuated between 3000 - 11000 applications in the many variations of recruitment that FRNSW has conducted by them.
It is worth noting this from the beginning so you understand the potential of the competition and what may be required in order to beat these thousands of people.
This is by no means meant to put you off the idea, more to make you consider the fact that simply winging it will more than likely land you on the unfortunate heap of disappointed applicants that don't understand how they could have possibly been overlooked.
Tests you need to pass in order to become a firefighter in NSW
At the time of writing this article Revelian is the test provider for NSW. The Revelian suite of tests is the KEY to becoming a firefighter in NSW.
The reason for this is that there is more than just a cognitive component to the Revelian tests for FRNSW.
Revelian is one of the more comprehensive test providers for fire services around Australia and FRNSW uses one of Revelian's most comprehensive testing regimes.
Revelian test for NSW Firefighter Selection
- Revelian classic cognitive ability assessment
This assessment examines your verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning, and your ability to acquire, retain, organise and apply information. This assessment has a time limit.
The Key - With any cognitive assessment the key is to make sure you are using relevant test questions for your practice, there is a bit more to it but that's the big one. Unfortunately a lot of the practice stuff you will find via web search is NOT what you will experience on the day. I have seen every mistake under the sun related to this issue.
- Cognify ( game based assessment ) forms part of the cognitive testing
This assessment examines your reasoning ability, and your ability to acquire, retain, organise and apply information. This assessment has a time limit. You can access example tests for cognify in the Membership Area
The Key - The thing you need to understand about the "cognify" game based assessment is that you want to get exposure to the test before the day, "cognify" gives the recruiters a deeper insight into your actual reasoning ability as it records not only your answers but also your behaviour whilst attending the test.
- Work Safety test FRNSW
This assessment contains a variety of statements about beliefs and attitudes regarding safety requiring a response along a 5 point scale. This assessment is not timed but should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
The Key - With the work safety test you need to develop an understanding around the beliefs and attitudes of the preferred candidate profile Revelian and FRNSW have come up with. Once you understand this it allows you to avoid mistakes thousands of people make each year
- Emotional Intelligence test - Emotify
This assessment will require you to complete two engaging, interactive assessments that ask you to correctly identify emotions based on facial expressions, and to understand the emotions people feel in different situations. This assessment is has two “mini-games” that are timed and will require approximately 20 minutes in total to complete.
The Key - With emotional intelligence although you may consider yourself emotionally mature I beleive it's best to gain some exposure to this test and ensure you are familiar with it. This also allows you the opportunity to close the gaps if there are any before the actual test.
- Work reliability scale
This assessment considers beliefs and attitudes regarding honesty and integrity based on your responses. . The assessment is not timed but should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
The tests above are usually accompanied by some strategic questioning as the beginning of firefighter recruitment in NSW.
This is where nearly everyone gets knocked out of the game
TIP: Simply searching "revelian test frnsw" "nsw firefighter test" or "free test firefighter" will prove a waste of your time and may even lead you down a path of being locked out for 12 months
PAT Test - Physical Aptitude test
Honestly most applicants don't pay a lot of attention to the PAT test which is a mistake unless you take into account the fact most of the people that take it for granted are the same ones who will never actually make it to the PAT anyhow.
Here's the thing about the PAT, It's specific so at a minimum familiarise yourself with it. The PAT is not something you want to fail after going through all the effort to get through the initial testing, it's also the most transparent test you will face as in you know the benchmarks you're required to meet.
My motto is always "control the outcome of what you can" and the PAT definitely falls into this category so why wouldn't you make sure you can control the outcome of something so simple.
When I'm working with a client on the PAT we boil it down into a training method of the "minimum effective dose" so that absolutely every minute of effort is propelling you towards the goal and zero effort is wasted doing things that will not contribute.
Format: Candidates will face questions from four different two-person panels to ensure divergent opinions determine the best candidates for the role.
The interview process is easily your Biggest opportunity in the entire process to beat your competition.
The Interview is actually the least competitive aspect of the process as usually at interview they have culled hundreds or even thousands of applicants.
Do not assume that if you reach this stage the interview is simply a formality; more candidates will be brought to interview than there are positions available. It is a critical part of the selection process and is subject to rigorous assessment.
So at this stage you might only have to be better than 20-40 other applicants.
It is at this stage of the process I get really excited for the guys I work with because I know if they simply follow my training and show up to their coaching sessions they are almost guaranteed a job.
This exercise will assess your effectiveness at working within a team.
Here's a brief video on group activities - it is for victoria but the fundamentals apply across the board
Understand what you will be subjected to before the medical, If you have something you are worried about it will pay to speak to someone confidentially before your medical as there are things that can be done before it's too late. I like to do this at the beginning with people Im working with as it allows us to remove doubt and focus on more fruitful activities that will get us a job.
Employment checks will be undertaken following successful interview and include the following:
• Reference checks – referees should be a supervisor/manager within a work environment
• Conduct and Service Checks – NSW Government employees only
• Driving history check – this information will be requested at the interview stage
• Criminal Records Check – this information will be requested after being cleared medically fit
Tip - Check your Online presence because they will
Skills, Attributes & Attitude needed to become a Firefighter in NSW.
- Mindset: you need to be able to get into the right frame of mind to become a firefighter in nsw, many people struggle with the journey and find the challenge insurmountable. If you can get this right from the start you're half way there. Commit to the journey
- Develop skills and understanding around all aspects of the testing suite for the current intake.
- Attention to detail.
- Communication skills, you will need to develop extremely good communication and interpersonal skills.
- Positive winning attitude, every minute spent on an unproductive negative activity or conversation is a minute wasted that could be put to use. Don't be like the masses.
TIP: Position Description is a gold mine in the right hands
- Respond to the 2 targeted questions - EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!
- You have 1 opportunity to get this right so don't take any chances
- This is generally your first interaction with the service so make it count. Make it contribute to your success, it's a real opportunity to do just that.
- Read the instructions carefully & Follow them to the letter. Sounds simple but so many people mess it up.
- Gain an understanding of what IS important to include and what IS NOT. You don't want to paint yourself in a dull light just because you don't fully understand whats superfluous and what is crucial to have on your application. You can be a great candidate but not a great writer so don't let this be the reason you're out of the game for another year.
TIP: Getting a second opinion from a suitably qualified professional before submitting could make or break you at this point. In my opinion If you can control the outcome of something it is wise to do everything in your power to do just that.
Information from Fire & rescue NSW (bear in mind every applicant has access to this).
Download How to Become a Firefighter NSW candidate information pack, There is some great information inside this publication that you need to be familiar with as a starting point. Here is a link to The Firefighter recruitment page for FRNSW This will give you the most up to date information about becoming a firefighter in NSW as far as the service is concerned.
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