Auxiliary firefighters are paid part-time firefighters located in regional communities across Queensland and at a small number of stations in the outer suburbs of the “south-east corner”. They provide an efficient and effective service to Queensland communities in the preservation of life, property and the environment.
Just like full-time firefighters, they attend structural and environmental fires, road crashes, chemical spills and many other rescue scenarios. They also conduct building compliance inspections and community education activities.
Auxiliary firefighters are unique however, in that they are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Holding regular jobs within the community such as farmers, trades people, teachers, stay-at-home parents, truck drivers, nurses, factory or office workers and even accountants, they carry a pager and “down tools” when QFES receive a 000 call.
Being an auxiliary firefighter is exciting and rewarding. Auxiliary firefighters receive world-class accredited training, enjoy the camaraderie of a close-knit team and most importantly have the opportunity to make a real and worthwhile contribution to their local community.
Auxiliary firefighters are paid an hourly rate, commencing at $22.68 per hour (effective 1 July 2014) to respond to emergencies, attend training and for other authorised duties.
Frequently Asked Questions
“It's great to be an auxiliary firefighter in such a professionally run station with both permanent and auxiliary staff.”
“Great team and friends.”
“The best part of being an auxiliary is a sense of being part of a team which is different to other full time employment. Although it is stressful at times, there is support. When you can basically save the life of crash victim or save a house so that it can be rebuilt and the owners are safe that is a good feeling of achievement.”
“Good job, interesting people, good status in community, confidence in self, help the community - all positives.”
“QFES offers a family/mateship environment. You enjoy helping your mates and the community. The skills learned are lifesaving.”
“Firefighting is very rewarding and I enjoy the work and socialising with other members.”
“I enjoy being part of a team and assisting new firefighters in training.”
“I love being a firefighter. I love learning and advancing my knowledge. Thank you to the QFES for this experience.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can become an auxiliary firefighter?
Auxiliary firefighters come from all walks of life and no experience is necessary. However there are some conditions that must be met before you are eligible:
Be healthy & active
Hold Australian Resident status
Want to help your community
Live or work within 5 minutes of the fire station
Have or be willing to obtain a Medium Rigid licence
Enjoy working in a team environment
Keen to participate in ongoing training and development
Able to respond to emergency incidents*
* It is highly desirable that your employer consent to releasing you at the time of an emergency incident.
Do I need to be available 24/7?
It is acknowledged that your personal or employment responsibilities will take precedence over QFES activities however, the more available you are the more useful you will be to the station in providing a service to the community. Where stations have the luxury of multiple applicants for vacancies, those who are able to meet the needs of the community best, will be selected.
The QFES expects all auxiliary firefighters to attend a minimum of 75% of training activities, including weekly core skills maintenance sessions, and 30-50% of emergency incidents depending on your hours of work.
Who can my employer talk to?
Your employer is encouraged to contact the local Area Director to discuss how your contribution as an auxiliary firefighter may impact on their business. Please ask your local fire station for applicable contact details or contact QFES Recruitment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where are auxiliary firefighters located?
Auxiliary firefighters are integral members of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and are located throughout Queensland. The majority are located at stations crewed entirely by auxiliary firefighters. Depending on their location, auxiliary firefighters may also work together with career or rural volunteer firefighters in the provision of fire and rescue services.
Unfortunately if you do not live within close proximity (about 5 minutes drive) to one of these stations, you will not be eligible for employment as an auxiliary firefighter. If you are still interested in making a contribution to your community in an emergency response environment please consider the State Emergency Service or the Rural Fire Service
What type of training will I be doing?
Your training will be both operational and non-operational in nature and will include communication, teamwork, health and safety, equipment maintenance and usage and of course hands on firefighting and rescue techniques.
Delivery strategies will vary between locations using a number of different techniques such as instructor lead classroom sessions, self paced on-line and hardcopy workbooks, one-on-one and team based scenarios, DVDs and other multi-media.
Much of your training will cross over into your other employment and personal life, enhancing career opportunities and giving you the confidence to tackle even the most daunting of tasks.
When will I go to my first emergency incident?
It is essential that all firefighters are adequately trained and equipped prior to responding to emergency incidents. It will be necessary for you to complete an extensive training program known as the Auxiliary Recruit Training and Education Program (ARTEP) prior to being eligible to “ride” the big red truck.
This is an in-house course, only open to QFES auxiliary firefighters, of approximately 80 hours. Training will most likely be conducted over a series of weekends and may require you to travel to a central location to train with new recruits from other stations.
Once you have completed the pre-operational component of this course, you will be issued with your personal protective equipment (PPE) and pager.
Do I need to be physically fit?
The job of a firefighter is demanding, diverse and can require a high degree of physical fitness, agility and dexterity. However firefighters come in all shapes and sizes, so if you are healthy and active why not give it a go.
You will be required to undertake a medical examination as part of the selection process, in accordance with the QFES Medical Standards. You are encouraged to discuss your personal circumstances with your doctor however we ask that you do not undertake an examination until instructed to do so by the QFES.
Are there any age restrictions?
There are no specific age limits to becoming an auxiliary firefighter, with the exception of compulsory retirement at 65.
It is preferred that you have a manual driver’s licence when you apply and obtain an MR licence within 12 months of appointment. Department of Transport and Main Roads require you to have held your C class licence for 12 months before you can be issued with an MR.
How do I apply?
Auxiliary firefighters live and work within their local community. So logically we recruit in the same manner. Please call your local fire station or drop in when you see the engine room door up.
What kind of experience do I need?
You don’t need any special qualifications or skills to become an auxiliary firefighter. The QFES will provide you with all the skills, knowledge and equipment you need.
Safety is essential. New auxiliary firefighters are required to undertake approximately 80 hours of training prior to responding to emergency incidents. This can take some time – attending regular drill training each week and participating in other non-operational station activities will help pass the time and maintain your enthusiasm for the adventures to come. Further training is then provided throughout your employment applicable to the risks within your local community. All training is undertaken after hours and on weekends. Some travel may be involved depending on your location.
Who can I talk to if I have more questions?
The officers at your local station are in the best position to answer questions in relation to being an auxiliary firefighter in your local community or contact QFES Recruitment on
Queensland Auxiliary Firefighters Association
United Firefighters Union Queensland Branch
Do I need to be an auxiliary firefighter before I can become a full-time firefighter?
Being an auxiliary firefighter is a great way to experience every aspect of firefighting however it is not for everyone and is not a compulsory step toward becoming a permanent firefighter.
Auxiliary firefighters receive bonus points for their application after 3 years service and are often known to the selection panel. They must however undertake each part of the selection process and achieve a competitive result to be considered for appointment.
Effective November 2008
No. of Auxiliary Fire Stations 188
24/7 Permanent + Auxiliary 13
7 Day Permanent + Auxiliary 6
5 Day Permanent + Auxiliary 4
Single Officer + Auxiliary 9
No. of Auxiliary Firefighters 2074