Hi there. Is there anyone from Oz that can assisst me in a possible transfer from England ?. I am a fulltime firefighter and i would like to know if any metropolitan depts do lateral transfers ?. I don't really want to do all the recruitment phases again as I am allready fully trained and competent, but obviously there would be a physical examination and interview etc, followed by training on your kit and practices etc. I just wondered if that is possible or would I have to go through the whole process again ?. My wife should qualify as a Lawyer in about 3 years so hopefully that should help the passage into your country. Thanks guys.
All I've ever heard is that in my part of the country (Victoria) there is little chance of lateral entry. About all they would do would be let you jump the queue for normal recruitment. At least, this was the case when I last heard people talking about the process. In other words you'd still be doing the full 3 month recruit training course.
However, things may have changed since the last time I heard the matter discussed. The all-career service that covers the Melbourne CBD and about half of the suburbs is said to be entering a recruiting phase to cover expected retirements, if this is true they may well be worth an approach from you. The service I'm with has a smaller number of career FF's and has a large number of applications at every recruitment time (we cover the rest of the State with a mainly volunteer structure). I have met one ex-UK firefighter who joined my service, but he seemed to be one of the ones that didn't want to have much to do with volunteers - rather pointless in a service where the vols outnumber the career about 60 to 1...
Best thing to do would be to contact the various services direct. In Victoria there are two, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade ( www.mfb.vic.gov.au/ ) and the Country Fire Authority ( www.cfa.vic.gov.au/index.htm ). A search on the web for the fire services in the other States will give you their contacts. Remember though, unless you really like hot and humid weather, the southern States might be more what you want! Good luck.
Here in NSW Australia. we have the (NSW Firebrigades) NSWFB. As well as the RFS (rural Fire Service) Volunteers. They have 69,000 vollunteers supposidly. more like 25,000 active. The rest are kept on the books after they have left to show the numbers. Politics working at its worst again. Permanent FireFighters on rotating shifts A,B,C, platoons & retained FireFighter (24/7 Pager System)
The permanent Firefighter position is a keenly sort after career path. The last recruitment drive there were 10,000 applications for 186 Positions. So the NSWFB have a large pool af applicants to choose from. I have never heard of lateral transfers in my 13 years as a FireFighter. NSWFB does not recognise outside training as such but does have procedures for RPL (prior learning recognition, with validated national accreditation certification documents. it will only help you with the application. So Wayne the bottom line here is you would have to apply under the same rules as all other applicants.
Your UK qualifications would certainly assist along this path.
There are numerous stages that have to be passed even before you get to the interview stage. This proccess takes approx between 12 & 18months if you are successfull. Some people have been trying for 5 or 6 years with no success. it is a long drawn out process. The end result speaks for itself. The successfull applicants then attend the NSWFB Training College at Alexandria. For extensive training. Again not all Pass.
The Retained Firefighter position is not as drawn out. When a position becomes available at a Brigade it is advertised. Requirements are: Pass medical ( very complex & through) Beep test if required. interview . if successfull then off to Stage 1 Training in basic firefighter safety & SCBA. Must pass stage 1. Then onto stage 2, if successfull you are allowed to ride on appliance. All other training is done in house.
Some station are 10/14 permanent/retained.
Some are busy stations, over 500 to 1000 calls per year. Some non Metro stations would be pressed to do 100 call per year. I hope this has not dampened you enthusiasm too much. Give it a whirl. "If you never have a go you will never ever know"
Cheers Brian...! 470 Toukley NSWFB
Thanks Tony for the info. If I do apply, it won't be for at least 3 or 4 years, but I now have some valuable info and e-mail addresses which I will be contacting directly. Once again thankyou and take care.
Brian, I respectfully beg to differ. Being a career firefighter will not aid in the application. The initial application is handled by an external company over the internet and involves a complex exam that is designed to assess you phsycologicaly as well as how well you handle presure and think through and solve problems. It is from this and ONLY this that the brigade is then provided suitable candidates to interview. Your resume is not taken into account prior to the external testing and is only looked at if you are in the top numbers in this test. We are the 7th largest fire service in the world (over 300 stations). We are the HAZMAT combat service in NSW as well as Fire and Rescue. Being a retained firefighter is a big ask, we are often out all night before heading home, showering and going to work, only to leave work several times a day to attend calls and then do it all again :) I am at 412 Orange, a 10/14 permanent / retained station. We are primary rescue and operate 3 appliances (permo - Rescue Pumper, ret/f - 2ndry rescue pumper and a 4x4 tanker) and attend over 1000 calls a year. Hands down best job in the world, permanent or retained we all wear the same uniform and do the same job. You also asked about the SES. This is a volounteer organisation that does play some role in primary rescue, though they are slowly but surely losing this role to NSWFB (Im not sure of the figures but we are closing in on having the whole states primary rescue). Their main role I suppose is natural disaster / storm assistance, and in our fire area are often called on to provide lighting / shelter etc. for larger jobs. You could also look at Melbourne's Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Queensland Fire Rescue Service. Like Brian I hope I haven't dampened your spirits.
Cheers mate, Chris
My pleasure, let us know how you go. Also I forgot ACT fire brigade. (australian capital territory, or Canberra) NSWFB does run a firefighter exchange program, with one of our FF's just returning from Canada, working with the District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services (DNVRS). May also be worth an ask. Stay safe mate
You are totally correct, I didn't want to scare Wayne away completely by mentioning the phys evaluation. Hence why so many don't get to the interview stage. I also thank you for adding all the extra information to Wayne.
Wayne you will have a better chance applying for a position as a retained firefighter whilst waiting to apply for a permanent position, as on each selection there are positions allocated for retained firefighters. the same examinations and selection apply across the line. No favoritism is extended to R/firefighters though. And yes as Chris stated only after you reach the interview stage is your previous employment history taken into account.
Yes it is the best job in the world bar none Chris. How's the weather treating you in Orange. It is still pretty mild here on the coast in Toukley.
Hello again Wayne. Chris mentioned the MFB in Melbourne (as I had) and the Queensland Fire Rescue Service ( http://www.fire.qld.gov.au/ ), but forgot another couple of States. Smaller in population, yes, but just as important ! He also forgot about the CFA, it has around 600 career FF's, although being predominantly a volunteer organisation.
Check them all out, they all have full-time career firefighters, some of them also have retained others don't. Maybe also check the State Government sites and others to see what part of Oz you might like to live in. It's a bloody big country - Victoria is the smallest mainland State and is about the smae size as England.