SA Fire Department Recruiting Tips

Video highlights:
01:16 – Potential To Learn
01:58 – Adverse Skills

03:25 – Communication
03:55 – Problem Solving
04:55 – Work Ethic
05:55 – Create Effective Working Relationships
07:00 – Action Steps

Welcome to Today’s subject is SA Fire Department Recruiting within Australia. Today I’m going to cover the desired skills and abilities that you will need to become successful in landing a job or becoming a firefighter with the SA Fire Department.

The first ones I want to talk about is the potential to learn and understand.

Knowledge of Roles within the Organization

You’re going to want to know about the operational roles as well as the administrative and support roles. Good literacy and numeracy skills, they’ll be tested during the aptitude testing phase of your entrance exams.

Willingness to Learn New Skills and Solve Problems in a Logical Manner

This is a bit about your willingness to learn and your ability that you’ve already got to solve problems in a logical manner. Think about a time when you may have demonstrated that.

Ability to Work Under Adverse Conditions

Now, this is a really important ability as a fire fighter because you’ll be required to work at heights, in confined spaces, work in hot and humid conditions, work in breathing apparatus, which is a mask connected to an air cylinder whilst wearing protective clothing for extended periods of time, in some cases.

Be Able to Maintain a High Level of Fitness

That helps with the ability to work under these adverse circumstances. Self-discipline, to perform tasks professionally. I think that one goes without saying but it’s worth having a think about.

Communication Skills

This is a really, really big skill and ability we need as fire fighters and as aspiring fire fighters. Be able to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences. Ability to conduct informational type sessions within the community. That might be regards in schools type thing, or an informational session for a community group, anything along those lines.

Report Writing Ability

You might be required to write a report for a fire or incident that you attended and you need to be able to do that efficiently and accurately. Demonstrate compassion and show empathy. As you’ll be exposed to a lot of difficult situations where people may be extremely saddened or similar, or they’ve just lost something dear to them, you need to be able to demonstrate compassion and show empathy.

Demonstrated Interpersonal skills

This is a big one with any fire service recruitment, within Australia and across the world. It’s about how you interact within a group, within a team, in the community, in any format, really. This is something to have a really good think about and try and have a think when you’ve demonstrated good interpersonal skills.

Shows Initiative

That’s pretty straight forward. Analyze situations and diagnose outcomes. Ability to make evidence-based sound decisions. Your ability to make sound decisions based on the evidence that you’re gathering, these sorts of problem-solving skills come in when you’re under pressure and if you can demonstrate that you’ve shown those before this will help you on your way to becoming a fire fighter.

Your Personality

Commitment and motivation, I think it’s a testament to you just to be committed and motivated to get this career, so you’re going to need those two things as a proven personality trait. Honesty, integrity and fairness, ability to manage your own emotions. As you’re working under stress a lot of the time you need to be able to manage your own emotions and reactions that might go with that.

Be Self-Motivated

Understanding and commitment to OH&S, equal opportunity and bullying principles. This is a really big thing, so it would be worth checking up with the OH&S and equal opportunity principles for the SA Fire Department and making sure that you’re aware of them and that they’re along with your beliefs.

Willingness to Undertake and Finish Difficult Tasks

As a fire fighter you’ll be required to do this on a regular basis. Work ethic and skills. In any fire department the ability to follow rules, standard operating procedures and directions. As you’ll be a subordinate you’ll be taking directions from a high ranked officer so you’ll need to be able to follow them as this can be a lot at stake and there’s safety on the line as well.

Willingness to Undertake Repetitive Manual Tasks

Understand Customer Service principles within an emergency service Organisation. Understanding Customer Service principles in general, but how they operate within an emergency service organisation, given that this is the South Australian Fire Department, in particular within their organisation.

Operate in a Professional Manner

Create effective working relationships. Hold onto the top one as it’s a really, really important thing and you can be sure that they’re going to want you to demonstrate where you’ve done this in the past. Work effectively as a member of a team. This is something I would be writing down and thinking about the different times that I’ve worked effectively as a member of a team.

Work with People from Diverse Backgrounds

As you’ll be required to work with people from all sorts of backgrounds. If you’ve done this in the past it’s a good way to show that you’ve got the ability to do so. Perform duties in a professional manner. I touched on this earlier but it’s really important as we’re working within the community and it matters to a professional manner.

Perform Duties with Safety as a Priority

South Australian Fire Department and all others within Australia are becoming more safety focused. We know to make sure that this is at the top of mind when performing out duties.

Summary of Desired Skills and Abilities at SA Fire Department

Although these are specific to the SA Fire Department Recruiting regime they apply to most services around Australia and throughout the work for that matter. I have included a tutorial vide to give this more context, be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments box below the video.

Potential To Learn & Understand

  • Willingness to learn new skills & solve problems in a logical manner
  • Good Literacy & numeracy skills
  • Knowledge of roles within the organisation
  • Basic computing skills eg. Microsoft office

Ability To Work Under Adverse Conditions

  • Work at heights
  • Work in confined space
  • Work in hot & humid conditions
  • Work in Breathing Apparatus ( Mask ) & Protective clothing for extended periods
  • Fitness – be able to maintain a high level
  • Self discipline to perform tasks professionally


  • Be able to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences
  • Ability to conduct informational type sessions within the community
  • Report writing ability
  • Demonstrate compassion & show empathy
  • Interpersonal skills – Demonstrated

Problem Solving

  • Show initiative
  • Analyse situations & diagnose outcomes
  • Ability to make evidence based, sound decisions.


  • Commitment & Motivation
  • Honesty, integrity & fairness
  • Ability to manage own emotions
  • Self motivated
  • Understanding and commitment to OH&S, Equal opportunity & bullying principals
  • Willingness to undertake and finish difficult tasks

Work Ethic & Skills

  • Ability to follow rules, SOP’s & Directions
  • Willingness to undertake repetitive manual tasks
  • Understand customer service principals within an emergency service organisation
  • Operate in a professional manner

Create Effective Working Relationships

  • Work effectively as a member of a team
  • Work with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Perform duties in a professional manner
  • Perform duties with safety as a priority

Action Step

Think of when you have demonstrated the skills we have just gone through and let me know in the comments below. Keep a record of times that you have demonstrated these desired skills and behaviours.




Brent C

After becoming a Firefighter, I developed a massive interest in the Fire Services Recruitment and Selection Processes. I've been in the fire service 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 300 of my former students are living their Firefighter dream.

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