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Recruitment FAQ

How do I contact to become a volunteer firefighter?

Contact our station either on email: phelan.pirrie@fire.org.nz  or phone and leave contact details on 09 411 7999. 


Will I have to work shifts?

No, at our brigade volunteers are given a pager, if this goes off, and you are in the area and available you can respond, if your'e at work, out of the area or unavailable, you aren't expected to respond.


I work in town or out of Muriwai during the day, is this a problem?

No, most of our members work out of Muriwai, your'e only expected to respond if you are in Muriwai and available to respond to a call out.


Do I need to live close to the station to join?

Yes, we require potential recruits to live either on Motutara, Waitea, Edwin Mitchelson, Berridge or Ngatira Roads or Domain Cres. This is because we need to get the appliance out the door quickly and so you need to be within 3 minutes of the station. 


Training Requirements?

Recruit firefighters are required to attend a 7 day recruit course or the equivalent 3 day basic skills, 1 day first aid, 2 day breathing apparatus and 1 day Realistic Fire Training Building. Some pre course learning is required, but on station help is available. Attendance at brigade weekly training nights is required. 

We provide a supportive environment to ensure our recruits succeed in their training, before you complete your 'Basic Training Course' (which is currently done at the New Zealand Fire Service training centre in Mt Wellington) we will work with you to ensure you have met a minimum standard of competency. 

Recruit Fire Fighters find the basic training and BA course a very rewarding experience, the training you will undergo is nothing like anything else you will experience. It helps build a bond with your fellow Fire Fighters and your confidence in abilities you probably didn't know you have.


What level of Fitness is required?

Firefighters often have to work at heights, climb, crawl (often in confined spaces) lift (often above shoulder height) and push or pull heavy loads, use manual and or power tools and may have to maintain a heavy workload over a period of time whilst working in suboptimal environmental conditions in which they depend on all five senses. You will need a reasonable level of fitness, good vision, hearing and balance to cope with extreme environmental conditions.



Are women strong enough to be fire-fighters?

Absolutely, there is a need for good upper body strength and a good degree of general physical fitness. We provide all the support and training required to meet the standard expected to become a Fire Fighter.


Do I need Security Clearance?

Applicants are required to undergo a full police check. A number of people have minor drugs/driving/assault convictions that may preclude them from becoming a member. A guide for suitability is available from your local Chief Fire Officer. 


Do I need Medical Clearance?

You will be required to complete a Medical Questionnaire and visit a GP for confirmation of your medical status. The brigade pays the cost of obtaining a medical clearance.


I have Asthma, will that stop me becoming a Fire Fighter?

The nature of fire fighting means fire fighters are exposed to a huge variety of air-born substances seen and unseen, which may trigger asthma in individuals with over sensitive airways and sometimes in people who have never had asthma before.

Most asthmatics know how to manage, control and treat their normal asthma symptoms in everyday circumstances using an inhaler for an attack. However a fire fighter can't use their inhaler if they have an attack in the middle of a fire and they are wearing breathing apparatus. There are other non operational roles within a volunteer brigade that you may be suitable for, so talk with your local Chief Fire Officer. 


If I wear glasses can I become a volunteer firefighter? 

Corrective lenses to achieve visual requirements may be worn provided they cannot be dislodged during the type of strenuous activity performed by fire-fighters. Contact lenses may be worn.


Breathing Apparatus (BA)?

All operational brigade members are expected to be able to wear BA. For the mask to successfully provide a seal around the face there must be no facial hair around the periphery of the face, and glasses cannot be worn. Those with sight difficulties will be required to wear contact lenses.


Uniform issue ? what is supplied etc.?

A temporary uniform is provided until initial training courses are completed. Once you have successfully completed your recruit course and have been accepted by the brigade management committee, you will be given your own personal issue.


I don't have the fitness to be a fire fighter, or can't commit to the training required, can I still help?

Yes, we do have Operational Support Officers, they assist us at incidents performing a range of duties that exclude fire fighting. There is still some training required but not to the same level as for a fire fighter. Contact us for more information.


What roles are there within a volunteer brigade?

A large number of people within a brigade are required to be fully operational fire-fighters. However not all brigade roles require operational readiness. Support personnel are an integral part of the brigades they are members of, such roles include volunteer operational support and/or volunteer brigade non operational and administrative support. For information regarding these roles speak with your local Chief Fire Officer.


Acknowledgement: NZFS