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Firefighters (Operational)

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"I’ll always remember my first job. I didn’t know the flames moved so quickly. When you finish and the residents are there and thankful, you know you’ve done a good thing."

Nick Bowers
Wallington Fire Brigade
1st Lieutenant


Firefighters (operational volunteers) respond to fire, road accidents and other incidents where risks are posed to life and/or property. Operational roles may also involve management of vegetation, fire equipment or assisting other emergency agencies.


Compulsory "minimum skills" training for operational volunteers can take up to six months and no fires can be attended until this training is completed. Regular training maintenance is required.

Firefighting can involve strenuous and physically challenging activities.

Responding to incidents

You must live or work close enough to your brigade to be able to get from your location to the brigade and the incident in a safe and timely manner.

Some brigades allow flexible options such as seasonal or surge volunteering. It is best to check this with your brigade.

Depending on the location, some brigades receive over 1,000 call outs in a year, whereas others may receive none.

Other activities

On top of responding to incidents, brigades run training sessions, meetings and events for their volunteers.

Many operational volunteers also undertake non-operational roles/positions. See the 'Support Volunteers' section for information on these roles.