SAMFS Recruitment: What to Expect and When
It’s been over a years since the South Australia Metropolitan Fire Service (SAMFS) has recruited full time Firefighters to join their ranks. They should be due at any time to begin another recruiting session but that’s never a guarantee. With people retiring from Firefighting later in their life, thanks to the poor economic situation, and improved safety measures (which is never a bad thing) reducing the needs for a more steady churn of new recruits, it can be quite some time between recruitment sessions.
A new, 7 million dollar station in Salisbury was announced in February. This new station doubles the capacity for trucks and firemen than there is currently in town. It should be completed late in 2015 which means, worst case scenario, that there will need to be staff members added to make use of this larger facility. Either the late 2015 recruitment will be rather large, or there will be an earlier, smaller SAMFS recruitment drive late in 2014.
In the meantime, if you can’t wait until the next SAMFS recruitment drive, the SAMFS recruiters are still accepting applications for retained (part time) firefighters, which can give you good experience for the future. I know this is little comfort for people who want to become a firefighter and nothing else.
A firefighter made a comment in 2012 about the recruitment process of going from a retained position to a full time firefighter. He said “One of [his] Officers in Drill Squad waited 11 years for [a] permanent spot, but then [he] got [his] in 9 months.” While working alongside of the permanent employees, you can get a leg up on the competition by being friendly and finding out insider information. I would wager that the Drill Squad Officer kept his head down and wasn’t learning about the other firefighters around him.
According to one member of the SAMFS, the typical recruitment drive is for 18-36 new firefighters. When you compare that to the number of applicants (up to 600 people) odds are pretty slim that you’ll get a position unless you are completely 100% dedicated and prepared for the drills, the tests and the panache to stand out from the crowd.
After the drills and tests, up to 100 people will be called for an interview. If you manage to get one of these calls, there’s about a 1 in 4 chance that you will be offered a position. What the SAMFS recruiter is looking for is a team to build on, or one or more members to an existing team, so be sure to emphasize that you’re a team player who’s able to follow instructions or lead when called upon. People who won’t fit with the team will not be called back, that is almost a certainty.
Competition is tough, but I include a lot of good information that lets you in on exactly what you need to know to master the SAMFS recruitment process and give you your best chance at succeeding.
Be sure to leave any comments or contact me if you have any questions.