What You Can Expect From A Firefighting Job
If you are interested in the firefighting profession, it is important to become familiar with the entry standards as well as the employment conditions. In most territories in Australia, firefighter recruitments are done as needs arise. It is advisable to monitor the website of the fire service in your area for regular updates. Here is an overview of the general conditions you can expect from a firefighting job.
As a firefighter, you are expected to have sound literacy and numeracy skills, adequate basic physical strength as well as a well-developed ability for intense, rapid and sustained effort. The self-discipline to respond to and carry out orders accurately is necessary. You must also be an individual who has a caring and sympathetic approach to victims of emergencies and the capacity to keep working in conditions that can sometimes be harrowing.
The minimum entry requirements include the possession of a Heavy Rigid (HR) drivers license. However, applicants with a Medium Rigid (MR) drivers license can be accepted with the understanding that they will obtain the Heavy Rigid (HR) license within the first year of employment. You are also expected to have a current first aid certificate at the time of your application.
Applicants have to be physically fit and be ready to undergo a comprehensive medical examination to check their state of health before being accepted. Although a prior record of offence may not disqualify you, a criminal history check has to be done. Applicants also have to produce their birth certificate or show evidence of having permanent residence status.
The comprehensive recruitment and selection process starts when the applicant submits an online application. This is followed by numeracy, literacy and physical aptitude tests, interview and work reference as well as the medical examination. The initial six months of employment is a probationary period. This includes the four months recruit training course. Permanent employment is granted to individuals who meet the required standards and competencies during the probationary period.
The career development opportunities in the fire fighting profession are very attractive. An intensive staff development program makes it possible for personnel to have access to quality training that is relevant to the needs of the organization. Lifelong learning is supported with various study programs that are provided for personnel. These courses are usually compulsory for all firefighters.
The weekly pay rate of recruit firefighters is over $800 during the training period. This is increased to more than $1200 per week when candidates are allocated to shifts. Applicants have to prepare to work at any station that they are posted to. You should be aware that a shift system is in operation in the fire service but the rest periods in-between shifts are adequate. The rates of pay takes shift work and public holidays into consideration.
Leave is given to firefighters according to a rostered system. Your leave entitlements will be made known to you when full employment is given. Generally, operational shift staff can expect to have more than sixty days of leave every year. Long service leave goes into operation after you have been working for 10 years.