The 2018 permanent firefighter recruitment campaign began on November 5

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is calling on men and women to join its rank and file to serve the community.

Thousands of applicants are expected to apply for permanent and retained (on-call) positions at FRNSW, which launched its 2018 permanent firefighter recruitment campaign on Monday. 

Brad McWilliams, a senior firefighter at Bathurst Fire Station, said it’s a state-wide campaign to recruit new firefighters into their permanent ranks.

“We are asking applicants to think outside the box and we are really looking at people who may not have necessarily considered it a career option before,” Mr McWilliams said.

“Permanent firefighter positions are very popular among people but they might not show same level of interest for retained (on-call) firefighter positions because of changes in circumstances, including the drought in the state,” he said. 

“FRNSW is great place to work and helping the community.”

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Orange Fire Station Officer David Beattie said they want recruits who are ready to do anything, not just fight fires.

“We are always looking for permanent firefighters with broad skills. But the retained (on-call) firefighters need to be available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. They can be called out at any time of day or night,” Mr Beattie said.

Data shows that Orange has the most busiest fire station in the Central West.

“Orange is a big central town in the Central West and we have a large population. We get a mix of all calls including those for rescue, automatic fire alarms, and house fires,” Mr Beattie said.

FRNSW launches a recruitment campaign every two to three years in the state.

According to the latest available data (2016/17) there were 3517 full-time fire officers and 3341 retained (on-call) fire officers deployed at 335 various fire stations across NSW.

FRNSW Acting Chief Superintendent Brendan Cox said currently they have one or two vacancies at each of these stations.

“We aim to recruit approximately 300 new retained (on-call) firefighters across NSW each year to fill places vacated by firefighters who have retired or moved on,” FRNSW said in a statement.

“It can be difficult to recruit retained (on-call) firefighters in some regional and isolated areas due to demographic changes, such as an ageing or declining population, and the impact of drought on employment.”

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Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said FRNSW firefighters do so much more than fight fires.

“They are highly-trained and trusted first responders on scene at road crash rescues, hazardous material incidents and severe weather-related events, and they play a crucial role in educating communities about fire safety,” he said.

FRNSW is looking for recruits who have:

  1. Emotional resilience
  2. Safety and situational awareness
  3. Effective communication
  4. Ability to follow directions
  5. Capacity to consistently demonstrate respect toward colleagues, the community and all others regardless of background, gender, age or differences
  6. Well-developed interpersonal skills and the capacity to work within, and contribute effectively to, a small team working in close proximity
  7. Ability to exercise self-discipline and use sound judgement in ensuring assigned tasks are completed to a required standard and within tight time frames
  8. Capacity to acquire new skills and demonstrated problem solving ability
  9. Candidates must satisfy all FRNSW medical requirements to progress. More information can be found at https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/recruitment
This story Do you have it in you? Firies seeking new recruits in Central West first appeared on Western Advocate.