Joining ACTF&R

Joining ACTF&R

Message from the Chief Officer

Thank you for considering an application to join ACT Fire & Rescue!

Being a firefighter is no ordinary job. The work is varied, challenging and rewarding, and no two days are ever the same.

Our firefighters are trained to respond to various high-pressure situations including structure fires, medical emergencies, natural disasters, motor vehicle incidents, and environmental, and hazardous material incidents.

If you apply and successfully progress through the recruitment process, and are accepted into our recruit college, you’ll need to prepare for the hardest 22 weeks of your life, as you go through our physically and mentally demanding course.

Firefighting is not for everyone, and not all applicants pass the intensive training course.

However, college graduation is always a momentous day for myself and every member of ACTF&R, as we all understand the hard work and the sacrifices it takes to successfully complete our difficult training course.

ACTF&R is committed to an inclusive workplace, and we welcome people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to enhance our already excellent service focussed ethos.

Diversity provides us with a broader range of experiences and perspectives to ensure we deliver appropriate and relevant service to the community.

Joining ACTF&R means becoming a part of the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA), which 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 ESA’s enabling Support Services.

Through ESA’s Women in Emergency Services Strategy, we have improved the representation of women in ACTF&R and we continue to provide supportive pathways to applicants who meet certain criteria, with the aim of making a career in ACTF&R more accessible to more people in the community.

As you consider your future employment with ACT Fire & Rescue, 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.

Matthew Mavity
Chief Officer
ACT Fire & Rescue

The Recruitment Process

The Recruitment Process

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

Stage 1 –

Applications are invited from individuals aspiring to be firefighters. Advertisements will be showcased in The Canberra Times, on the ACT Fire & Rescue website, and through Jobs ACT. After the closing date, all submissions will be evaluated based on general recruitment standards and their response to the selection criteria. Successful applicants will advance to the second stage.

Stage 2 – 

Qualified applicants will be asked to attend an online aptitude test. This session encompasses tests assessing a variety of skills: verbal, numerical, abstract, and spatial reasoning. After completing the aptitude test, applicants are required to provide a written response to a question aligned with the selection criteria.
Note: Candidates may be required to attend an aptitude verification test at a subsequent stage.

Stage 3 –

Applicants who clear the aptitude test will be invited for a cardiovascular challenge known as the ‘BEEP test’. This test involves shuttle runs spanning 20 meters, with candidates needing to achieve a level of 9.6 to progress. It's advisable for prospective candidates to familiarise themselves with this test beforehand. A demonstration of the ‘BEEP test’ is available online here.

Stage 4 – 

Successful candidates from the previous stage will be invited to an assessment centre for teamwork exercises and an introductory interview.

Stage 5 – 

Selected applicants will then be invited to undergo the Physical Aptitude Test (PAT). A demonstration of the ACT Fire & Rescue Physical Aptitude Test can be viewed here.

Stage 6 – 

At this phase, successful applicants will engage in formal interviews, and their referees will be contacted for verification.

Stage 7 – 

The concluding stage will have shortlisted candidates attending medical and psychometric evaluation sessions.

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 with no restrictions.
  • 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.
New Recruit Training

New recruits undergo extensive training in a college environment for a period of 20 weeks. 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 Heavy 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.

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.


  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.
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.