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About the Job
The Firefighter (FIREFTR) mustering is employed on duties within Air Force's emergency services (Force Protection) structure. The FIREFTR's primary role is to provide aircraft rescue and Firefighting services (ARFF). Other roles performed by members of the FIREFTR mustering include:
- Structural Rescue and Firefighting (SRFF)
- Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) response
- Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) response
- Wildfire response
- Operator level maintenance and functional testing of fire vehicles and ancilliary equipment mounted on fire vehicles
- Maintaining high levels of readiness through on the job training
- Providing aid to the civil community when required
- Decontamination of personnel and/or equipment as a result of agents/chemicals accidentally discharged during peacetime, and/or following deliberate chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks and
- Continuation training of military and/or civilian personnel employed on Air Force bases
Working conditions vary considerably. Most working hours are spent under cover in comfortable surroundings. However, the job may require a Firefighter to work under extreme conditions while wearing protective clothing and breathing apparatus. Firefighters may be exposed to risks from heat, toxic fumes, chemicals, unexploded ordnance, flammable fuels and associated hazards during structural and aircraft rescue and fire fighting operations. These duties may be performed on a fixed base or during deployments to remote and overseas locations in periods of peace, tension and conflict. Members of the mustering and are expected to work under arduous and dangerous conditions.
Firefighters work primarily in an outdoors environment, under all weather conditions. Members work as part of highly skilled and motivated teams. A minimum crew of four members provide ARFF/SRFF support 24 hours a day, seven days a week therefore members of the mustering are rostered on rotating shifts.
Employment in the FIREFTR mustering is open to males and females.
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Preparing for Your Recruitment Process
This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.
Salary & Allowances
In the Air Force you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.
In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.
Firefighters may be posted to Air Force bases at Tindal, Amberley, Williamtown and Richmond.
Applicants must be aged between 17 and 55 years of age inclusive on day of entry.
Applicants will not be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age.
Education & Experience
It is essential you have completed Year 10 with passes in English and Mathematics.
Medical & Fitness
To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination. Two main areas which affect firefighters is claustrophobia and the ability to work from heights.
You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness assessment before enlistment.
For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.
Period of Service
You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of four years. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service.
You may request discharge at any time provided you do not have an outstanding Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation and provide a minimum of three months' notice.
Applicants must be able to access all parts of a fire vehicle without the assistance of stationary or mechanical devices and reach a height of 210cm (in flat-soled footwear).
At a minimum, candidates must hold a valid Australian State or Territory provisional/probationary C Class Drivers Licence upon enlistment/appointment. Candidates with suspended or cancelled licences will not be eligible to join until the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired. Additional license requirements may apply.
The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.
The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.
Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.
To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.
To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.
If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.
Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.
The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.
A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.
The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.
This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Financial information
Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.
Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.
The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.
For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.
Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.
Duration: 10.6 weeks
Location: RAAF Base Wagga (NSW)
You'll start your Air Force career at No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU). In three intensive months you'll transition smoothly from civilian to Service life, acquiring the basic knowledge, skills and physical fitness required for your role; and learning to become an effective and productive member of the Air Force.
You can read about what to expect at the No.1 Recruit Training Unit on the 1RTU website.
Initial Employment Training is divided into two phases.
The first phase is conducted at RAAF Base Amberley, QLD and consists of a 2 week driving course which provides instruction in driving and operating light and heavy four wheel drive vehicles, but not specialised fire vehicles.
The second phase is the 20 week Basic Fire-Fighting Course conducted at the RAAF Security and Fire School, RAAF Base Amberley, QLD and provides instruction in the following areas:
- Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF)
- Structural Rescue and Firefighting (SRFF)
- Wildfire Operations
- Emergency Medical Care (First Aid)
- Rescue Operations, Including Motor Vehicle Rescue
- Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)
- Driving and Operation of Specialist ARFF/SRFF/Wildfire vehicles
- Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence (CBRND) operations
- Communications Systems and Equipment
- Automatic Fire Safety Systems
- Operator Level Maintenance/Testing of Specialist Equipment
Firefighters are also required to complete post graduate and trade specific courses, as part of career progression, including pre-requisites for promotion and regrading.
Time based promotion following twelve months supervised training.
The Structural Fire Controllers Course is undertaken by firefighters with a minimum of three years seniority at Leading Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman rank.
The Structural Fire Controller Course is conducted at the RAAF Security and Fire School and provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and attitude required to assume control of incidents such as building fires, motor vehicle accidents etc and single vehicle ARFF response., This training is a prerequisite for both regrading to Firefighter Grade 1 (FIREFTR1) and merit based promotion to Corporal.
While regrading to FIREFTR1 and salary increase to Pay Grade 4 is achieved upon completion of the above courses, promotion to Corporal is not automatic.
The Airfield Fire Controller Course is undertaken by firefighters with a minimum of two years seniority at Corporal rank.
The Airfield Fire Controller course is conducted at the RAAF Security and Fire School and provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and attitude required to perform Sergeant level duties, including the control of a multiple vehicle response to ARFF incidents and/or other emergency situations. This training is a prerequisite for both regrading to Firefighter Grade 2 (FIREFTR2) and merit based promotion to Sergeant.
As all Non Commissioned Officers in the Firefighter mustering are required to perform various training and assessment duties, Corporals are also required to complete Instructor and Assessor courses, conducted at the RAAF School of Administration and Logistics Training at RAAF Base Wagga, NSW.
While regrading to FIREFTR2 is achieved upon completion of the above courses, promotion to Sergeant is not automatic. FIREFTR2 salary remains at Pay Grade 4.
The Fire Safety Advisor and Manager course is undertaken by firefighters at Sergeant rank.
The Fire Safety Advisor and Manager course is conducted at the RAAF Security and Fire School and provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and attitude required to Flight Sergeant level duties, including day to day management of a Fire Station and the provision of specialist Fire Safety advice to Commanders. This training is a prerequisite for both regrading to Firefighter Grade 3 (FIREFTR3) and merit based promotion to Flight Sergeant.
The Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence (CBRND) Advisor course is undertaken by firefighters at Sergeant rank. The CBRND Advisor course is conducted at the Army School of Military Engineering at Steele Barracks, Holsworthy, NSW and provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and attitude to both conduct training and provide specialist CBRND advice to Commanders. This training is a prerequisite for regrading to Firefighter grade 3 (FIREFTR3).
While regrading to FIREFTR3 and salary increase to Pay Grade 5 is achieved upon completion of the above courses, promotion to Flight Sergeant is not automatic.
Upon promotion to Flight Sergeant, a Senior Non Commission Officers of the Firefighter mustering is known as a Firefighter Manager (FIREFTR MNGR).
While there are no mustering specific courses to be completed for progression from Flight Sergeant to Warrant Officer, promotion remains merit based in competition with other eligible candidates. Minimum seniority and generic Air Force training prerequisites must also be met.