Posted October 04, 2019 08:20:04 With firefighting agencies struggling to deal with the rapidly increasing fire risk in Australia, the Government has announced it will be introducing a new service for the first time in history.
Firefighters will be required to train for four months and be able to take part in some of the most demanding jobs in the nation, including firefighting, as part of the coronavirus pandemic response.
What is it?
The coronaviral pandemic has been a major driver of demand for the fire brigade, which has been hit by the worst of the fires in recent years.
But as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported in September, firefighting had been falling in popularity since the early 2000s, with only 5 per cent of Australians now reporting that they had worked in the industry.
The new service will see firefighters train for eight weeks and then move on to the next level, in which they will receive an accredited training course.
However, this will not be compulsory, as the Government said the service would be available to anyone who had a valid certificate, demonstrating that they were prepared to be involved in firefighting.
Who will be eligible?
There are four categories of firefighter who can apply for the new service, which will start from December 1.
“Those with an accredited certificate will be allowed to apply,” Minister for State Services and Transport Jacinta Allan said in a statement.
Firefighters with valid certificates will be able apply from December 16, 2019, and the number of people applying will increase by 1 per cent a year, until it reaches 2,400 by 2022.
Currently, the only person with a valid firefighting certificate is the Australian Federal Police.
What happens to firefighters who fail the new training?
Anyone who has failed a firefighting training course will have to complete a post-graduate course to get a new certificate.
Those who have completed a postgraduate course will not have to do the post-graduation course, but will instead have to continue to work as a fire fighter.
The government has also agreed to review the qualification requirements for firefighters who do not have valid certificates.
Will I be able at the end of the four-month training course to work in the field?
The Government has agreed to a review of the qualifications required for firefighters to work and earn a certificate.
That review will involve looking at the skills needed to deal effectively with the fire risk, and assessing whether it makes sense to remove the requirement for firefighters with a post graduate certificate.
The Government is also looking at how the new certificate will impact on other fire service roles, including those in the public sector, as well as providing guidance to local councils.
Can I have my licence cancelled if I don’t pass the course?
Is there a training scheme to make the firefighting profession more attractive?
There is no training scheme for firefighters, as there is no mandatory training.
But there are a few ways the Government can help.
In September, the Australian Firefighters Association called for a new career training scheme, with the first phase of the program being implemented by December 2019.
The AAF has also called for the training to be phased out.
If the fire services career training is phased out, there is a training and certification scheme available for firefighters in Victoria and Queensland.
For more information, contact the Department of Fire and Emergency Services at 1800 787 925 or call the helpline on 1300 222 672.