For those individuals who are successful in their quest to become firefighters during the upcoming fire season, there is typically a lot of satisfaction about having passed the physical and mental standards that are required in order to be accepted into the training program. This achievement, while substantial is only the beginning of the effort that must be expended during the training process.
Here is some information about the requirements necessary for a firefighter recruit while in the training phase, or when he or she first arrives at a station.
Trainee Firefighter School (TFS)is the first step in become a valued member of the fire fighting team. The school takes the new recruits and puts them through a rigorous physical and educational course. The Trainee Firefighter School is a paid, intensive training program lasting for just over four months.
The training courses are presented at DFES’ Fire and Emergency Services Academy in Forrestfield. The course is only available to those candidates who have been successful in the trainee firefighter recruitment process. The first segment of training brings recruits to DFES operational standards.
Through the coursework, trainees are educated in the necessary duties of working as Five Class Firefighters. The completion of the courses provides graduates with the basic skills and key aspects of the role of fire fighting professionals. Some of the elements include communication skills in the work place, driving, handling of hazardous materials, rescue, breathing apparatus, firefighting skills and community safety.
Completion of the DFES TFS means that the graduates are enabled to take part in the Firefighter Development Program (FDP). Over the first three years of five year training courses, the firefighters concentrate of learning both practical and theory components of this job. Once the three years are complete, firefighters are promoted to the rank of 2nd Class Fire Fighter. During the training period, trainees have access to gymnasium and training space and equipment as well as the tools and textbooks to define the coursework.
The fourth and fifth years of a FDP are devoted to specific training courses. Completion of these courses results in another elevation in rank. The individual is thus prepared to hold the rank of Senior Firefighter. Training and coursework doesn’t necessarily end there. Those who wish, can continue training to prepare for further advancement.
Senior fire fighting professionals are prepared with the knowledge and skills which will allow them to become effective station officers. Not all firefighters want to move to this level, but they have the opportunity if they choose to do so. This type of training can require up to a year to be selected and complete two training phases, spread over 28 weeks. There are courses and station assignments to be completed between the two phases of the coursework.
Every effort is made to ensure that firefighters are fully prepared to do the important tasks that they are hired to do. The courses that are available include everything from core foundation knowledge to career firefighters. In Western Australia, training is handled at the campus in Forrestfield.