Advanced Programs Introduction (API)

This introduction program provides the knowledge and skills required to achieve the national unit PUATEA002B - Work Autonomously.

Working autonomously in the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) does not mean working alone. It may mean personally taking on the responsibility of one part of a larger job. At other times, it may mean working with a team of less experienced members to achieve a task. Whether you are only responsible for yourself or you have a team of others, working autonomously is about utilising resources appropriately and taking responsibility for the outcome of the task.

Of course, this is the sort of responsibility that a Crew Leader or field officer has at all times, however, even a firefighter should be prepared to take a lead role if the situation demands it.

In the NSW Rural Fire Service, an Advanced Firefighter (AF) is a member who is expected to work at incidents and related activities without constant and direct supervision.

Advanced Programs Introduction (API) is an introduction to the technical levels of Advanced Training, above that of the foundation bush firefighter level of training. Advanced training is a stepping stone in a pathway of choice as each topic provides more than one possible direction of learning and growth, depending on where in the Service your focus is.

Taking steps to a qualification higher than Bush Firefighter is more than simply ‘doing more stuff’. It is much more about applying knowledge, skills and experience to inform the decisions that you make, it is also about being willing to share your knowledge and experience with the next generation of members, through coaching and mentoring.

A member with advanced skills should be able to understand the reasons behind an active firefighting or specialist decision such as communications or logistics, or indeed any number of decisions made at an incident or within an operation.

For an Advanced Firefighter, following directions and completing tasks begins to include new elements. For example, the Advanced Firefighter employs the consideration of options, reasoning, evaluating possibilities and utilising the right skills with initiative to solve more complex issues. This is aided by the experience acquired as an Advanced Firefighter and made possible in part through the use of memory slides gained through operational experience and training.

Memory slides are mental pictures of situations and scenarios that your mind processes in micro seconds. Memory slides are created through experience and training so that your mind can instantly recognise a situation and apply a solution to the problem. The more you do something, the quicker your mind can recognise the situation and the quicker you can create options to deal with it based on experience.