What Types Of Tests Are Required In The NSWFB Firefighter Recruiting Process?

Applicants for the NSW Fire Brigade (now called Fire and Rescue NSW) must move through a series of tests to determine their suitability. Understanding the stages of this firefighter recruiting process allows potential applicants to prepare both mentally and physically. From online assessments through to personal interviews and medical questionnaires, this process takes time and may require several attempts before receiving an offer of employment.

Initial Online Assessments

The first three stages of Fire Brigade recruitment involve online assessments coordinated by the applicant. Once the application and contact details are submitted, the potential recruit completes a job preview test designed to help them understand the expectations of permanent firefighters in NSW.

The next step looks at the applicant, assessing their core strengths and ability to perform the required job by way of an unsupervised evaluation lasting between 45 and 60 minutes. This online test includes several aspects, such as problem solving, communication and personal skills, initiative, ability to cope with stress and judgment aptitude.

The last of the three initial online testing levels is basically a repeat of the applicant evaluation performed with supervision. Potential recruits interact with a representative of the NSWFB from Sydney. This stage is more comprehensive than the first two stages and lasts close to an hour.

PAT or Physical Aptitude Testing

Physical testing begins once applicants have progressed through the initial online assessments. The Fire Brigade encourages applicants to attend a familiarisation session in order to prepare for the PAT. Recruits need to be in peak physical condition before attempting this test, although the familiarisation session allows for self-assessment and provides recruits with an opportunity to improve before attempting the PAT.

This Physical Aptitude Test involves two major components, including the shuttle run to gauge levels of cardio fitness and the task course designed specifically for firefighting duties. The NSWFB offers videos and training recommendations to allow for optimum preparation.

Interview Stage

Perhaps the most important stage of the firefighter recruitment process, this interview measures the applicant’s suitability for the Fire Brigade. The panel provides potential recruits with an opportunity to demonstrate their work ethic, attitudes and personality. A wide range of skills are addressed in this interview and the opinions of the entire panel are considered.

Medical Evaluation and Historical Checks

Once recruits have passed the PAT and moved through the interview stage, a series of evaluations and historical checks complete the process. The medical evaluation lasts approximately 1.5 hours and involves several different reports and tests to detect any medical conditions. A written questionnaire covering the applicant’s medical history and a physical exam are conducted at this time. Applicants are responsible for all costs associated with the medical reports and testing required prior to this evaluation.

A criminal record check is also required at this time, as well as a driving history. All checks must be cleared before an offer of employment can be made.

There are several types of testing required in the recruitment process for the NSWFB. Each stage builds on the previous level. Applicants are provided with adequate time to prepare.

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.