Firefighter Kaitinei Ahi

Firefighters control and put out fires, help rescue people and animals, and educate the public about fire safety and fire prevention.

Firefighters may do some or all of the following:

  • educate the public about fire prevention
  • install and inspect smoke alarms or fire extinguishers in homes, boats, aircraft and businesses
  • put out fires and prevent fires from spreading
  • operate vehicles such as firetrucks and helicopters
  • investigate the causes of fires and chemical spills
  • attend accidents or emergencies such as car accidents, chemical spills and natural disasters
  • provide first aid 
  • carry out search and rescue operations 
  • help plan and develop evacuation schemes for commercial buildings
  • maintain and service fire fighting equipment.

Physical Requirements

Firefighters need to have excellent fitness and health and must be strong as the job is physically demanding. They also need to have good hearing and eyesight, normal colour vision and no breathing problems.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for firefighters includes:

  • volunteer firefighting
  • working with people from a diverse range of communities, ethnicities and backgrounds
  • being part of a team such as a sports team
  • involved in community-based activities such as coaching sports
  • teaching, training or coaching experience.

Personal Qualities

Firefighters need to be:

  • good communicators
  • able to relate well to a wide range of people and cultures
  • confident and able to remain calm in emergencies
  • good at solving problems and making decisions
  • patient and helpful
  • disciplined, honest and reliable
  • able to work as part of a team.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for firefighters includes:

  • volunteer firefighting
  • working with people from a diverse range of communities, ethnicities and backgrounds
  • being part of a team such as a sports team
  • involved in community-based activities such as coaching sports
  • teaching, training or coaching experience.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for community firefighters, but physical education to at least NCEA Level 1 is useful.

Ten credits in NCEA Level 1 Literacy and Numeracy are required for air force firefighters. 

Firefighters can earn around $43K-$64K per year per year.

Firefighters may move into management roles to become senior firefighters, station officers or air force officers.

Firefighters may also progress to jobs in areas such as:

  • training 
  • fire investigation
  • fire protection
  • fire risk management. 
Firefighter

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