How to Become an Aviation Firefighter 


Become an Aviation Firefighter   

I'm talking about how to become an Aviation firefighter with Air Services Australia.

I will not be covering general how to's that can be found on the "How to become a firefighter in Australia" Page.

What is an Aviation Rescue Firefighter

Reported to me by serving aviation firefighters:

The main difference between aviation firefighters and civilian or statutory firefighters is that the job is obviously contained within the perimeter of the airports area of responsibility. 

This means the frequency of actual firefights is significantly less and there is a much larger service delivery to the airport through administering first aid and Emergency medical response.

Airservices Aviation Rescue Fire Fighters work at 27 airports around Australia.

Being an Aviation Rescue Firefighter contributes to Australia's skies being safely, reliable, and efficient. Aviation firefighters to respond to airline, airport, and traveling public emergency and safety needs.

"A job with the Aviation Rescue Fire Fighters of Airservices is a career with a bright future" 

What Does an Aviation Firefighter Do?

Majority emergency medical response, training, fire protection and various other emergency response.

Competition in Aviation Firefighter Recruitment

Airservices aviation firefighter is at the LOWER end when it comes to how competitive OR hard is it to get a job in the fire service in general. Although it is at the lower end it is still extremely competitive and the aptitude test is HARD in the scheme of firefighting aptitude tests

Over the 10 years I have been following aviation firefighter recruitment with Airservices Australia and have figured out the formula to pretty much guarantee a spot if you apply yourself, this cannot be said for many jobs this competitive.

The amount of applicants fluctuates at the lower end of around an average of 1000 applications per intake depending on the recruitment and locations up for grabs. 

The main reason for the aviation firefighter role being slightly more accessible is that it is a fraction less sought after mainly due to the lesser variety of response activities. Many people also use it as a stepping stone before going into a state fire service after spending some time.

Being an aviation firefighter is still an extremely good career that is highly skilled, highly competitive and respected. Being 1 of 20 out of 1000 puts you in the top 2% which is a pretty decent achievement and one that will require skill, dedication and preparation.

I like to point out the expected competition from the beginning so you understand the potential and what may be required in order to beat these hundreds of other hopeful applicants.

Simply winging it in an application process to become an aviation firefighter will more than likely land you on the wrong side of the airport fence when the cards fall.

Tests You Need to Pass 

In order to become an aviation firefighter with Airservices Australia

There have been many iterations and process changes over the time we have been meticulously following the Airservices recruitment process.

Over the last few years, we have seen the aviation firefighter recruitment aptitude test provider stay fairly constant. 

Cognitive Reasoning Assessment

Verbal, Mechanical, Spatial - examples below. SHL Test Practice


The verbal reasoning questions are based on a block of text then your response to the information contained in the text. This style of question is easy if you know what you're doing OR catastrophic if you don't. You will need a framework to become quick and accurate at these questions if you are not already a gun at English.

The Key - With any aptitude assessment 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. I keep a constantly updated list of current test questions inside my membership portal.

Work Styles Questionnaire

Below is an example question style you might find on a work styles questionnaire for aviation rescue firefighter recruitment.

This can also be referred to by people who don't know the test as a firefighter psych test.



Talent Screener

With the talent screener you may be given a scenario and then given multiple choice questions as to how you would deal with the situation.


The Key - With the Psych Style Tests, you need to develop an understanding around the beliefs and attitudes of the preferred candidate profile of an aviation firefighter or more so the organisational psychologist company that is being used at the time. 

Once you grasp the concept it allows you to avoid mistakes thousands of people make that do NOT get jobs.

Brent C at his desk.

TIP: Simply searching the internet for "practice test x" will usually prove a waste of your valuable time and may even lead you down the wrong path. Have a think about what the majority of people do and don't do that.

Aviation Firefighter - Physical Aptitude Test

The "Physical Aptitude Test" is not something you want to fail after going through the effort to pass the initial testing. The PAT test it's also the most transparent test you will face, you know the benchmarks you're required to meet, they lay it out for you step by step.

It's like getting the test questions before the test.

TIP: Always "control the outcome of what you can". The Physical testing falls into this category so why wouldn't you control the outcome of something so simple.

My PAT Process

  1. 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.
  2. Track execution of the plan and progress.
  3. Adjust if needed 

This process allows us to sail through any Physical test and gives us the luxury of intervening before it's too late if necessary.


Common Interview Questions Firefighters get Asked

Interview for Aviation Firefighter recruitment. 

(can be conducted via video interview)

Behavioural Panel Interview
The panel interview has a panel of members who will be asking questions and assessing your responses and interaction

Interview Tips:

The interview is easily your biggest opportunity in the entire process to beat your competition.

Podcast with my in-house interview coach

The interview is actually the least competitive aspect of the process as usually at interview they have culled hundreds 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.

Group Activity

Airservices have a "Group Activity" in the aviation firefighter recruitment process.

See the video above so you have some awareness of the teamwork or group activity.

It is best to cover all bases and be ready for anything during the recruitment process to avoid any avoidable mistakes. The example video is a fundamentals video that applies to all fire services.


The aviation firefighter 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 I'm working with as it allows us to remove doubt and focus on more fruitful activities that will get us a job. Below are the listed medical issues, some of these conditions may rule you out before you start.

Click the button below for the current aviation firefighter medical for Air Services Australia

Employment Checks - Validations

Employment checks will be undertaken following successful interview and include the following:

• Reference checks – Make sure you have great referees 

• Working with children check - I'd get this in advance

• Criminal Records Check – National Police Certificate

Recruitment Dates

Firefighter recruitment dates and outlook for Fire and rescue ARFF this year.

Education Requirements

Aviation Firefighter high school requirements 


Check your online presence because they will

Skills, Attributes & Attitude Required to Become an Aviation Firefighter  

- Mindset: most people struggle with the journey and find the challenge insurmountable. If you can get this right from the start you're half way there. Get in to the right mindset and 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

- 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 an 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 what is 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.

Aviation Firefighter Salary

Click the button below to go to the firefighter salary page where I keep an up to date firefighter aggregate salary for Australia as well as the current firefighter Aviation Firefighter Salary.

Case Study

Baker D - Aviation Firefighter


See Baker's Case Study - After 5 unsuccessful attempts. 

Use his experience to avoid missing out. Once this guy understood the process he has since gone on and gotten into another state fire service beating 4k applicants, from 5 fails to 2 successes in a row.


Brent C at his desk.

Airservices Firefighter Stations - Station Map


Aviation Firefighter Training Courses

Programs By Fire Recruitment Australia

The Firefighters Recruitment Bundle

A collection of my best recruitment related resources

This is the ideal investment if you are currently preparing for the next fire services recruitment intake. This collection gives you rich details that help you prepare thoroughly for every test you'll face — the application process, the Aptitude, Personality, and Physical tests, and the Interview.

Work with Me & My Team

Make sure you get the job over instead of the other guy.

Personalised coaching sessions based on decades of experience and tailored to your needs.

If you think you need that little bit of extra help to make it through the next recruitment intake, then this may be perfect for you. Together, we'll work out a strategy that:

  • Builds on your strengths and fills you with confidence
  • Improves on your weaknesses to eliminate points of failure
  • Shows you exactly what to expect so you can present the best version of yourself every step of the way.

Wherever you are in the process, and whatever challenges you’re facing right now, coaching gives you with step-by-step guidance, personal support, and resources to help you get where you want to be in the quickest way possible. You don’t need to struggle on your own anymore!


Join my membership program for even deeper, more thorough training.

When you become a member of FireRecruitment Australia, you get:

  • All of our superior video courses and eBooks ... created specifically for aspiring firefighters in Autralia
  • Our monthly coaching call for inspiration and faster success
  • Access to our proprietary, interactive Interview software ... for the best possible Interview preparation
  • The absolute BEST resources to propel you on your journey toward becoming a professional firefighter

Membership is ideal for you if you would like to see success much faster and with less stress. It membership works for first time applicants as well as applicants who have tried and failed before. The secret sauce that ties it all together is my personal experience mixed with years of research into the recruitment process.