How to become an Aviation Firefighter

Aviation firefighters fight fires in aircraft and buildings at airports, provide rescue and first-aid services for aircraft passengers and crew, provide technical advice about fire safety and assist in educating airport users about firefighting and safety.

Personal requirements for an Aviation Firefighter

  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Able to swim
  • Comfortable working at heights
  • Comfortable working in confined spaces
  • Able to work in a structured service environment
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Meet Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulations for colour vision
  • Australian citizenship or permanent residency.

Duties & Tasks of an Aviation Firefighter

Aviation firefighters may perform the following tasks:

  • Assist in the evacuation of people in life-threatening situations using mobile high-performance vehicles and watercraft
  • Fight fires using a range of equipment, such as hoses, foam sprayers and monitors
  • Administer first aid
  • Protect property endangered by fires
  • Protect the environment (as necessary) in an emergency situation
  • Participate in organised drills for fire control and rescue work
  • Conduct fire safety inspections and inspect fire alarm boards
  • Test and maintain fire vehicles, hoses and other equipment
  • Assist in the operation of the Fire Control Centre at airports
  • Observe aircraft arrivals and departures.

Working conditions for an Aviation Firefighter

The majority of aviation firefighters in Australia are employed by Airservices Australia in the Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) service.Shiftwork is compulsory. At many locations, the ARFF service operates 24 hours per day. However, at smaller locations the service may be provided for fewer hours. The length of individual shifts varies between 10 and 16 hours, depending on the requirements of the location, with shifts organised around a rotating roster.

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