Not Just Firefighting

The advanced suite of courses can be used to extend knowledge and skills for different roles within the Service. For the firefighter, it can be the starting point for developing a specialist area of expertise and is essential for becoming a Crew Leader. For roles such as logistics, Navigation (NAV) will be essential if you are moving equipment around the fireground. For communications personnel, modules such as Crew Safety and Welfare (CSW) will be vital if you are working in a field communications unit.Flexible Membership recognises that a member does not need to undertake active firefighting duties to be an integral member of the Service. Taking part in many different areas such as community engagement, communications, logistics and management support are just as vital to the capability of the NSW RFS.

Each module will provide the knowledge and skills to build on in order to pursue the area of operations you have chosen or can even be utilised in conjunction with other skills to give you a diverse range of abilities.

Working autonomously comes as a result of learning and developing skills and then applying them to a task for which you have been trained. It is an essential component of entering into any of these specific job roles. Therefore it is a core subject within this level of training. Any member with the ability to work autonomously will benefit from having these skills to use both within and outside of the NSW RFS. 

The Advanced Firefighter

Firefighting is still a large part of what we do. An Advanced Firefighter is someone with the skills and ability to work with a greater level of responsibility, a greater range of individual and team skills, and a greater level of input into decision making than before.

Some typical examples of things an Advanced Firefighter might do, that a Bush Firefighter would not normally be expected to do include:

  • Working as an individual on key tasks and solving problems that affect the safety and effectiveness of the crew (e.g. being a pump operator while the crew are operating hose lines)
  • Working with another firefighter remote from the direct supervision of an officer (e.g. setting up a portable pump away from the tanker to supply water to it or scouting for containment lines or checking for spot fires)
  • Coaching and mentoring less experienced Firefighters at an incident (e.g. acting as a helpful ‘buddy’ to a less experienced firefighter while conducting hazard reduction)
  • Actively contributing towards the decision-making process of the Crew Leader (e.g. pointing out changes in conditions, concerns, emerging hazards and the requirements of SOPs)
  • Scrutinising the actions and decisions of the Crew Leader and respectfully interacting with them to identify and trap errors before they occur
  • Scrutinising information given by others and clarifying any points as required, offering alternative points of view and experience so as to help ensure safe practices on the incident ground
  • Leading the crew for short periods of time as required