Firefighter Recruitment

Firefighter Recruitment

Current Recruitment


The Recruitment Process

The recruitment process is managed by a contracted recruitment agency, using the following
staged process.

Stage 1
Applications are sought from individuals seeking employment as firefighters. Advertisements will be placed in The Canberra Times, on the ACT Fire & Rescue website and Jobs ACT with applications open for a period of two weeks.

Following the closing date, all applications will be assessed against the general recruitment
requirements and response to the selection criteria, with successful applicants proceeding to stage two of the process.

Stage 2 – 
Qualifying applicants will be invited to attend an aptitude test. This session lasts 3-4 hours and includes tests of a range of skills including verbal, numerical, abstract, and spatial reasoning.

Applicants will be also be required to prepare a written response to a question relating to the selection criteria of Work Health and Safety, diversity or participative work practices.

Memory aids are not permitted in the testing environment, nor are computers, mobile phones, written notes etc.

Stage 3 –
Applicants that pass the aptitude testing will be invited to attend a cardiovascular challenge test known as a ‘BEEP test’. This test consists of a shuttle runs 20 meters in length, where a level of 9.6 must be obtained for the applicant to progress further in the recruitment process. It is recommended potential applicants practice this test before undertaking this part of the recruitment process. A demonstration of the ‘BEEP test’ [] can be found online.

Stage 4 – 
Suitable candidates are then invited to attend an assessment centre, including a physical aptitude test (PAT), teamwork exercises, and initial interview. View the demonstration of the ACT Fire & Rescue Physical Aptitude Test.

Stage 5 – 
Successful applicants at this stage of the recruitment process will participate in formal interviews.

Referees will be contacted.

Stage 6 – 
The final stage of the process will see shortlisted applicants attend medical and psychometric assessment sessions.

Preparing for Recruitment

The following documents and resources will help you to prepare for the recruitment process:

Commissioner’s Message

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) is comprised of four highly respected front-line services: the ACT Ambulance Service, ACT Fire & Rescue, the ACT Rural Fire Service and the ACT State Emergency Service, which are supported by our enabling Support Services.

As the ACT grows, we are continuing to enhance the capabilities of the ESA to ensure we remain one of Australia’s leading and most trusted emergency management organisations.

We are embarking on an exciting period of innovation, to ensure we remain at the forefront of the emergency response capability provided to the ACT community. As we move forward, I am committed to ensuring our emergency services embrace the strengths that diversity and inclusion can provide. We seek to attract and recruit the most capable workforce we can in order to meet the demands of our roles and responsibilities.

Through our Women in Emergency Services Strategy  we have levelled the playing field in our organisation and will continue to make a role in the emergency services accessible for all people. I am proudly committed to the implementation of future ACT Fire & Rescue recruit colleges with a gender balance, where the men and women who satisfy the requirements and meet the standards for the role will compete on merit for the recruit positions.

As you consider your future employment with ACT Fire & Rescue, I invite you to approach this recruitment process with enthusiasm and commitment. I also encourage you to think of the future opportunities that exist for you within our multi-service agency.

Together we are a strong team with a shared vision of working together to care and protect the ACT community. Our people are, and will continue to be, our number one priority. 

Georgeina Whelan
ACT Emergency Services Agency

New Recruit Requirements

Applicants must be Australian citizens or have permanent residence status, and possess the following essential qualifications:

  • Current first aid certificate (‘Apply First Aid’ or equivalent)
  • Current Australian C Class Licence with no restrictions and confirmation of completion of a ‘Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Assessment’ or; current Australian MR Class driving licence with no restrictions.
  • Current ACT Working With Vulnerable People (WWVP) card.
  • Current Medical Consent to participate in physical abilities testing, and
  • A Police Character Check will be required to be obtained during the selection process

Selection Criteria

  1. Demonstrated ability to work as an effective member of a highly trained team.
  2. Ability to perform in a physically demanding environment.
  3. Demonstrated interpersonal and communication skills, both oral and written.
  4. Demonstrated commitment to excellence in job performance, including personal and professional development.
  5. An understanding of the role, responsibilities and nature of employment of a Fire Fighter.
  6. Demonstrated knowledge of fair and safe workplace practices including Work Health and Safety, and the principles of respect, equity and diversity.


Firefighters work in teams, under the supervision of a Station Officer.  Depending on the shift being worked and the circumstances that emerge during the shift, a Firefighter will;

  1. Prepare equipment and appliances for emergency response through the application of, and compliance with, routine checking procedures,
  2. Operate vehicles in emergency and non-emergency situations in accordance with Traffic Regulations and agency procedures,
  3. During building inspections and at calls to fire, locate and identify fire alarms, detectors, suppression and building control systems and check and monitor the status of fire alarms,
  4. Whilst performing routine duties and attending emergencies, identify potential and existing hazards, take appropriate action and report the nature of those hazards in accordance with agency OH&S requirements,
  5. Respond to fires, rescues and other emergencies and perform duties in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures, including those tasks as allocated by the Station Officer/Senior Officer at the scene,
  6. Assist casualties at accidents/incidents and provide emergency care by the application of basic life support techniques and in accordance with agency Standard Operating Procedures.
  7. Process information in accordance with agency procedures by;
    • logging details of emergency reports for action and future reference
    • receiving, processing and transmitting information via radio, telephone and computer
    • completing standard agency proformas
  8. Perform routine Station duties including the cleaning and maintenance of vehicles, equipment and facilities
  9. Undertake training and courses of study to ensure current competence.
New Recruit Training

New recruits undergo extensive training in a college environment for a period of 90 training days. New recruits will undergo their training in the Emergency Services Agency’s new training centre at Hume. During the training period recruits learn about fire behaviour and safety and fire fighting techniques as well as rescue techniques in all rescue disciplines and hazardous materials handling. A mandatory component of a Fire Fighter’s qualification is a Medium Rigid Drivers Licence. This level of licence must be gained prior to completion of the probationary phase of employment. Failure to gain this qualification will result in employment termination. Facilitation for the gaining of this licence will be provided during the probationary phase.

Recruits are provided with a mix of theoretical and practical training and, at the end of training recruits graduate from the college to immediately become an integral member of an operational crew.

At the completion of initial training, Firefighters undertake an extensive on shift training program ensuring that their techniques are continually improving supporting their progression in their career as a qualified Firefighter. This structured training program prepares Firefighters for the challenges expected through all phases of their careers with nationally recognised competencies and skills acquired as part of this program.

Lateral Recruitment

Lateral Recruitment Process – ACT Fire & Rescue

Lateral entry recruitment allows ACT Fire & Rescue (ACTF&R) the opportunity to appoint firefighters who have experience as full time operational employees of a recognised urban fire and rescue service to fill vacancies on a needs basis.

There are no lateral recruit intakes planned at this time.