A: Having children is not a barrier to becoming either a volunteer or career firefighter.
Check out Megan’s story on the ‘profile’ page where she recounts joining as a career firefighter while being a new solo mum.
Some volunteer brigades help members with childcare by organising other brigade members or other in the community to help at fire calls by looking after the kids.
A: Yes, there are physical tests to join the NZFS as a career firefighter, and more information about these tests can be seen in the video below:
This information includes a breakdown of each exercise (and what muscles to train to get strong for each one).
Some women may find they need to work specifically on building their upper body strength.
Station Officer Angela Munro has provided some guidance for women starting to improve their fitness – you will find it on the ‘training tips’ page.
A: The New Zealand Fire Service and the National Rural Fire Authority websites have applications forms for applying to be a volunteer in urban fire brigades or rural fire units. For urban fire brigades there is a brigade location finder you can use to check for stations in your area.
You will need to undergo a security and a medical check as part of the process for both urban and rural.
Many brigades and rural fire parties have their own web site or Facebook pages, and it is a good idea to check these out as they may provide answers to other queries you have.
A: The New Zealand Fire Service offers a number of opportunities to help out, not just as an operational firefighter. Many volunteer brigades and composite fire stations (stations with both career and volunteer personnel) have members who carry out an operational support role, assisting at incidents and fires with traffic control or bringing extra gear to a scene (but not getting involved with any firefighting or rescue work).
There are also some independent operational support units, especially in cities. These units often specialise in certain support roles, such as lighting, traffic control or provide general support duties including refreshment, scene safety, transport and logistics.
There are opportunities for people with good administration or organisational skills to join volunteer brigades in administration support roles (secretary or treasurer for example) who are not required to attend any call outs.
Other brigades welcome help from members of the community to do other duties such as child minding or equipment maintenance for example. If this interests you – talk to your local brigade and see how you can help.
A: There are really clear policies about operational women who become pregnant. These are on FireNet, or if you would like further information please contact us at email@example.com.
There is also a pregnancy uniform available to women and this can be ordered using the normal NZFS process.
A: Yes – fire stations usually have separate male and female or unisex toilets. Some older volunteer stations may provide more limited facilities.
Career fire stations have separate bedrooms for all staff on station. It varies from station to station as to whether there are dedicated women’s showers or not, but at the very least there are separate unisex shower rooms for all staff to use. There will be sanitary disposal containers available in the toilets.
In the case of volunteer stations, as a rule they do not have sleeping facilities on station. There is often only a single unisex shower, and in the case of more modern fire stations this will be an accessible shower.
A: The NZFS has a zero tolerance towards harassment and there are very strong policies available to deal with it. There are clear processes to follow if either bullying or harassment occurs and these are available on the NZFS intranet. However if you need any advice or help finding these this please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be able to point you in the right direction.
If you have any other questions that are not listed here, please contact us at email@example.com. We would love to hear from you.