Protect lives and equipment as you lead the fire and rescue services at our airfields and bases.
- ServiceAir Force
- SpecialisationOperational Support
- Starting Salary$47,224
About the role
As an Air Force Firefighter, you will be responsible for maintaining operations in the base Fire Flights. These are manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: providing an immediate incident response capability to the base.
Firefighting is a challenging job, both physically and mentally. You will be required to maintain a high level of fitness to conduct rescue and firefighting operations. You will conduct regular operational skills maintenance, designed to give you the knowledge to make the right decisions in dangerous situations.
Camaraderie that is second to none; trust and teamwork are values held high in the trade.
All Fire Flights work a 6 day shift set: a day shift, a 24 hour shift, and a night shift followed by 3 days duty leave.
To be part of the team we don’t expect you to be the best, but to give your best. It is as a team that we will be the best.
Job on base
Your duties will range from the day-to-day maintenance and servicing of all rescue and firefighting equipment, continuation training of rescue and firefighting skills, and competencies to fire awareness training and education for base personnel.
Air Force Firefighters provide support for operational aircraft on and off the airfield. You will be on call to perform a range of emergency duties from rescue and firefighting operations through to humanitarian services. You will also be involved in fire awareness education and training for all New Zealand Defence Force personnel.
Further opportunities exist for you to work alongside NZ Army firefighters both on deployment and through a tour of duty. As you progress there are opportunities for you to carry out training and courses with Fire and Emergency NZ.
Job on deployment
While on deployment as a Firefighter you will undertake a full range of trade skills from maintaining airfield coverage, fire safety within a tented camp or support to rural fires nationally and internationally working alongside Fire and Emergency NZ. This could be working with New Zealand Defence Force assets, part of a Coalition team or working alongside other host nation firefighters. Support to the community is important, so you may be called upon to assist the local fire brigade at an emergency.
We are quite unique in the fact that we do combine both normal airport firefighting and regular civilian street fire service Fire Fighting. We’re the jack of all trades we can do it all.
Career progression and training
Career progression exists from Leading Aircraftsman through to Flight Sergeant at all Bases and Warrant Officer at Whenuapai and Ohakea.
Upon successful enlistment into the Air Force you’ll be posted to RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim). Here you’ll do 12 weeks of basic military training to find out if you’ve got what it takes to be in the Air force, and learn various subjects including:
- Organisation and Administration
- RNZAF Customs and Protocol
- Drill and Parades
- Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
- First Aid, and Search and Rescue Techniques
- Physical Fitness
FIRE FIGHTER BASIC COURSE
The second phase of your training is a 12 week Fire Fighter Basic course at the Joint Services Fire School, Linton Military camp, near Palmerston North, that covers various aspects of rescue and firefighting including:
- Hazardous substance materials
- Pre-hospital emergency care
- Urban Search and Rescue
- Extrication techniques (motor vehicle accidents)
On graduating you will be awarded an NZQA national certificate Level 2 in Urban and Vegetation with further OJT to gain NZQA national certificate Level 2 in Aviation.
After graduating you will be posted to an Air Force base for 18 to 24 months for more job training.
On successful completion of the Fire Fighter Basic course you will be required to complete induction and consolidation log books and attend a series of driving courses that include light 4 x 4, Class 2 driving licence, heavy 4x4 course, emergency response drivers course and airfield driving requirements.
On successful completion of these courses you will then spend a period of time working on an Air Force base, receiving on the job training (OJT) in preparation for your Fire Fighter Intermediate course.
After holding your Class 2 licence for a minimum period of 6 months you will undergo additional OJT and assessing to achieve a Class 4 licence.
FIRE FIGHTER INTERMEDIATE COURSE
After this period you will return to the Joint Services Fire School for your intermediate trade training. This lasts for seven weeks and covers further aspects of your basic training plus:
- Lead a fire team at an emergency incident
- Lead a rural team as a crew leader
- Bulk fuel installation fires
- Liquid, Petroleum and Gas fires
- Deliver fire safety awareness training
On graduating you will be awarded an NZQA national certificate Level 3 in Urban and Vegetation with further OJT to gain NZQA national certificate Level 3 in Aviation.
Completing this course makes you a senior fire fighter and opens doors to a full range of rescue and firefighting duties in the Air Force.
FIRE COMMAND AND CONTROL JUNIOR COURSE
Eighteen months after qualifying as a senior fire fighter you will be able to attend a Fire Command and Control Junior course. This four week course covers:
- Command & control an initial emergency incident
- Fire safety and evacuation of building regulations
- On graduating you will be awarded an NZQA national certificate Level 4 in Urban and Vegetation with further OJT to gain NZQA national certificate Level 4 in Aviation
FIRE COMMAND AND CONTROL SENIOR COURSE
After further experience on your unit, you will then be eligible to complete the Fire Command and Control Senior course. This four week course covers trade-specific subjects such as:
- Command and control of multi-agency incidents
- Legislation and policy within the Defence Force
Salary and benefits
Careers in the Air Force are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.
Benefits and allowances
There are many additional benefits to being in the Defence Force, that will make your money go further.
For example, on top of your basic salary you can expect ‘Military Factor’. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country.
Free medical and dental
Access to subsidised equipment on base
Subsidised food on base
Competitive superannuation, up to 4% with KiwiSaver
Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels
Fitness and medical
Period of Service
- You must be at least 17 years of age.
- Computer skills beneficial.
- Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain CV security clearance for this trade.
- Restricted Class 1 licence, Class 1 or 2 Full licence preferred
You must have achieved the NCEA level 1 Literacy and Numeracy requirements.
- No requirement to wear glasses.
- No fear of either heights or confined spaces.
- You must be medically fit for service.
- Colour perception restrictions may apply.
There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required CV security clearance for this trade.
Find out if you’re eligible here.
12 months after you have completed your advanced trade training.
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