19 October 2022

Fire and Rescue NSW is looking for new recruits to join their Riverina teams

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Fire and Rescue NSW

Fire and Rescue NSW offers a rewarding career for firefighters. Photo: iStock/Daria Nipot.

Fire and Rescue NSW is looking for recruits to join their teams around the Riverina.

Fire and Rescue NSW recruitment officer for Region West 3 Emma Tyrrell said the on-call role would enable someone to learn a new skill and give back to the community.

On-call firefighters respond to local emergency incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from their homes or workplaces.

They are notified by pager or mobile phone and can balance other work, study and family commitments while also protecting and supporting their local community.

On-call firefighters are trained to: prevent and reduce the risk of a potential loss of life and property, work closely with the local community to increase fire safety awareness, promote fire prevention, and undertake all manner of rescue.

They are also trained to deal with hazardous material incidents.

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Ms Tyrrell said the work was part of a team environment.

“We get applicants who have quit or retired from their sporting career,” Ms Tyrrell said.

“But they’re at a point where they want the team environment but don’t have the time and effort for their sporting career.

“It is a secondary role, not a primary employment as an on-call firefighter, which is the career development for permanent firefighters.

“For the secondary role, we just need people to have a driver’s licence.”

Ms Tyrrell said younger people could be recruited as long as they had their provisional driver’s licence.

Ms Tyrrell said people tended to confuse NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) with NSW Fire and Rescue.

“The two are separate government agencies, while the RFS involves unpaid volunteers, which is admirable, and they are responsible for bushfire incidents,” she said.

Photo: Supplied.

“Whereas Fire and Rescue is a paid employment, covers the township and is responsible for structural fires like house fires.

“We also work with the RFS,” she said.

Ms Tyrrell said the pay for a recruit was $31.14 an hour, and once a recruit completed eight days of hands-on training, the pay would be $35.03 an hour.

The recruitment process.

  • Go to Fire and Rescue NSW website.
  • Click on the application process for on-call firefighters
  • After applying, the admin officers will contact applicants for an interview.

Ms Tyrrell said once an applicant was successful, they would be required to undergo an in-depth medical.

“Firefighters work in high-demand areas, and it puts a lot of stress on the body,” Ms Tyrrell said.

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“We need to ensure people are healthy and fit enough to withstand the demand, but you don’t have to be a marathon runner.

Ms Tyrrell said applicants underwent a physical test once the medical was done.

“It’s roughly about a 15- to 17-minute circuit, and the exercises will simulate what we will be doing in the field.

“Applicants get three attempts to pass the test, and when they do, they will be given a letter of offer.

“The successful applicants then will be given a position at a station and will do their eight days of base training.”

Ms Tyrrell said going through a few months of medical and fitness tests was worth it as the work that followed was very rewarding.

Ms Tyrrell added that many of the Riverina towns were looking for new recruits to fill in the daytime availabilities.

She added people were under the impression it’s a massive commitment and that it would take hours away from their work, but it wouldn’t.

“Depending on where the applicants are applying, there are systems in place to ensure their primary employment is important, and Fire and Rescue do their best to get the firefighters back to work as soon as possible.

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