What they do
Firefighters work in teams to directly help in emergency incidents. They assist in safeguarding people, property and/or the environment including responding to fires, vehicle accidents, rescues and other emergencies. They carry out fire hydrant inspections and maintenance, and conduct inspections and risk assessments of private, industrial and commercial properties. Firefighters also work closely with communities to raise awareness of fire safety and prevention strategies.
Firefighters in Western Australia also conduct planned and controlled burns of bush land area to minimise the damage caused by uncontrolled fires during the summer bushfire season.
In order to maintain a 24-hour service every day of the year, fire fighters are required to work shift work, including nights, weekends and public holidays. Fire fighters often work at heights and in confined spaces, and of course in potentially hazardous situations.
Tools and technologies
Fire fighters use a range of specialised equipment, which can vary depending on the situation they are responding to. Protective equipment such as helmets, gloves, breathing apparatus and specially designed uniforms. Hydraulic rescue tools, such as the Jaws of Life, are often used to free victims from motor vehicle crashes, or other small spaces. They also use large hoses, ladders and small hand tools, axes and crowbars.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a firefighter, you usually need to pass the Department of Fire and Emergency Services recruitment process and complete the Trainee Firefighter School's 21-week intensive training course. Contact the Department of Fire and Emergency Services for more information.