How to become a firefighter in VIC
Become A Firefighter In VIC in 12 months or less - Even if you have failed multiple times
This article is specific to becoming a firefighter in the state of Victoria 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 Victoria (formerly MFB & CFA)
Case Study: Sam W - VIC Firefighter
Here's Sam below with doing some interview preparation with us and then as an FRV firefighter. Sam had tried 2 times and been unsuccessful. When he used the methods I'm talking about he managed to become a firefighter in Vic that very same year.
The reason I share this is to illustrate how much difference the right preparation and guidance makes.
Listen to Sam's full story
Competition in FRV Firefighter Recruitment
Fire & Rescue Victoria is one of the most competitive fire service in Australia. Over the last decade or so I have been following firefighter recruitment in Victoria the amount of applicants has fluctuated around the 3000 - 4000 mark give or take a thousand or so.
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 not work unless your uncannily smart or just have an extraordinary talent for fire service recruitment.
FRV Online Application
Ensure that you have read and understand all stages of the recruit selection process and comply with the minimum entry requirements including Criminal History and Driver History policies (see summary below).
- 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 1: 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.
TIP 2: Position Description is a gold mine in the right hands
The Key - With any application It is important to Identify the underlying fundamental skills that one needs to develop in order to nail the application. You need to understand what is important to include and what needs to be left out so that your application makes an impact in your favour instead of being a hindrance.
Tests you need to pass in order to become a firefighter in VIC
There has been significant change with firefighter recruitment in Victoria in recent times with MFB and CFA amalgamating into one service being FRV.
At the time of writing this article Pearson VUE is the test provider for FRV. The Pearson VUE suite of tests is the KEY to becoming a firefighter in VIC.
Be careful not to mistake Pearson VUE with Pearson VUE, what I mean by this is Pearson VUE does provide tests for other fire services in Australia so you might think "I have done a Pearson VUE test before so it will be the same". Unfortunately this is not entirely true, In my experience there can be some similarities but not enough to bet on. A recent example of this was the current QFES test is Pearson VUE but it is much simpler than the FRV test which has caught a lot of people out.
DON'T BE ONE OF THESE PEOPLE
Pearson Vue test for FRV Firefighter Selection
The Pearson VUE WST Firefighter assessment examines your reasoning abilities in the following areas.
Abstract reasoning – measures your ability to identify and complete sequences and patterns
Numerical reasoning – measures your ability to recognise relationships among numbers to determine the pattern and come up with the next logical number in the sequence.
Verbal reasoning – measures how well you understand and interpret written passages.
Mechanical reasoning - measures your ability to understand basic functioning of mechanical devices
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.
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 Pearson Vue practice tests in the Membership Area
This is where nearly everyone gets knocked out of the game
To progress to the next stage of the selection process, you must achieve a pass at the Written Selection Test, Only the highest ranking 750 candidates will progress to the next stage of the selection process.
TIP: Simply searching "pearson vue test firefighter" "frv firefighter test" or "free test firefighter" will most probably prove a waste of your time. This is usually what the masses do and then expect above average results.
This exercise will assess your effectiveness at working within a team.
Here's a brief video on group activities:
PAT Test - Physical Aptitude test - Practice Session & PAT Test
TIP: Go to the practice session even if you think you're all over the PAT. This does a few things including familiarising yourself with the environment, the tasks and how you are likely to perform on the day. It also shows your character in how you are approaching the process.
Most applicants are either frightened of the PAT OR they don't pay a lot of attention to the PAT test.
Not paying attention to this part of the process is a mistake.
You need to 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.
Below is a PAT Demonstration Video from FRV, A bit drawn out but worth a watch.
At a bear minimum use the training programs that FRV have supplied, they aren't that bad. The reason they aren't that bad is because they have identified a cohort were failing at this stage and they wanted to change the outcome. This is one of the ways the are trying to address it. So if you do nothing else follow that.
Shuttle Run FRV Vic
As part of the application process, you will be required to do a Shuttle Run or Beep test
You must achieve a score of 9.6 on a 20 meter shuttle course.
TIP: Train past 9.6 so if you have any ailments on the day you can still easily pass
Here is a helpful course dedicated to the Beep Test
PERSONALITY PROFILE - Firefighter Psych test
You will be required to undertake a psychological questionnaire or Psych Test, which takes just over one hour and consists of a series of true/false questions. This is scheduled on the same day as another of the assessments.
TIP: The best thing about the Firefighter Psych test for FRV in Victoria is they tell you the type of test. This is extremely helpful if you have struggled with this in the past.
The interview comprises of both behavioural-based and general questions. The behavioural-based questions are an opportunity for you to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and attributes, through examples of past behaviour in different environments.
The interview process is simply 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.
At this stage you might only have to be better than 20 other applicants. I like those odds much more than the 30/4000 at the WST stage of the process.
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.
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.
CRIMINAL AND DRIVING HISTORY
To be qualified for thought for arrangement as a FRV firefighter, candidates should be of acceptable character and will be surveyed by criminal, driving and other fidelity checks. The earlier history of all candidates is considered comprehensively and dependent upon the situation. Inadequate/wrong data provided by a candidate may bring about the wiping out of an application or a rejection period being applied.
On the off chance that a candidate is unsure about their qualification, they can present a Wilful Revelation structure before they apply, laying out the data they might want explained.
A finding of blame incorporates feelings, alerts, redirections, great conduct securities and without conviction discoveries.
Firefighters are needed to drive crisis reaction apparatuses as a centre segment of their job, guaranteeing essential spotlight on the wellbeing of their group and the local area they serve. This incorporates driving under crisis reaction conditions when heading out to episodes and driving under ordinary street conditions while getting back from calls for help or leading routine checks of their support zone. It is thusly important that candidates can show a background marked by protected and mindful driving conduct.
Drink driving - Can I become a firefighter in victoria If I've been convicted for drink driving?
- Alcohol level with a reading of 0.1% or more may be eligible to apply 10 years after the date of the offence.
- Alcohol reading is under 0.1% an applicant may be eligible 5 years after the date of the offence.
- If you have incurred eight or more demerit points at the time of application and at any stage up to an offer of employment you will be disqualified from the process.
- Traffic infringement notices as per the below guide you should request a copy of their driving record from your state or territory driving department such as VICROADS and email their report to recruitment for review.
In the last 3 year period have received 4 or more traffic infringement notices
In the last 5 year period have received 5 or more traffic infringement notices
In the past 10 year period have received 12 or more traffic infringement notices
Note: Does not include parking fines,
This is a summary adapted from FRV polices printed on their website 2020 (not exhaustive).
Tip - Check your Online presence because they will
Skills, Attributes & Attitude needed to become a Firefighter in VIC.
- Mindset: you need to be able to get into the right frame of mind to become a firefighter in Victoria, 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.
Information from FRV (bear in mind every applicant has access to this).
Here is some more information you might be interested in if your seriously considering becoming a firefighter in victoria with FRV
How much does a firefighter earn in Victoria?
correct as of 2021
FRV Station Map - Overview
Nothing contained in this post is to imply any endorsement from the CFA/MFB/FRV or any other Statutory Fire Service or its representatives.
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