Being a volunteer

Interested in volunteering for Fire and Emergency New Zealand? We'd love to have you join us! Volunteering at your local Fire Brigade or Fire Force is probably different from what you think.

You must be 16 years of age or over to be a volunteer. If you're not yet 18 years old, you'll need the consent of your parent or guardian. Apart from that, almost anybody can join a Brigade or Fire Force, male or female, young or old, those looking for adventure or those wanting to contribute to their community.

Depending on where you live in New Zealand we have either rural or urban fire stations.

What does Volunteering for Fire and Emergency New Zealand Involve?

The role you play for Fire Emergency New Zealand  depends both on the needs of your local Brigade or Fire Force  and the skills that you can offer them. You can be hands-on at an emergency, or you can provide support to those who are. 

You can even have a role that doesn't expose you to emergency incidents. The one aspect all roles have in common is that they require you to attend regular training nights, and that you participate in Brigade activities.

Operational Volunteer Firefighter - Urban

These people respond to emergencies. They drive the trucks and make up the crew at fires, as well as medical, hazardous substance and other incidents.

They are the front line members of the Brigade. Training is supplied to ensure they can do their jobs safely and to the best of their ability.

Operational firefighters carry rank, which is related to their qualifications and skills. Often the qualifications and skills that people gain from being a volunteer firefighter are beneficial in other parts of their lives.

Operation Volunteer Firefighter – Rural

Rural volunteer Fire Fighters are part of local teams that are trained to respond to vegetation fires. However, the teams may also respond to structure fires and car accidents. Community awareness programmes are other ways we engage with communities.

Operational Support - Urban

These people support operational firefighters at incidents. They carry out tasks that are non-hazardous to free up firefighters for more specific tasks.

These duties include:

  • People and traffic control
  • Transporting of equipment
  • Assisting the incident controller
  • Any other duties that are not in the incident hot zone

Training is supplied and operational support staff carry rank to ensure structure at an incident is maintained.

Brigade Support – Urban / Rural

This role allows people who want to contribute to their local Brigade or Fire Force and community the opportunity to do so without having to face the challenge of responding to emergencies.

It can be an important role, like providing administrative support for the day-to-day running of the Brigade or Fire Force, or more hands-on, like presenting fire safety programs to community groups like schools or the elderly. 

Want to volunteer? 

The first step in volunteering is to read about the medical and security checks you must pass to join Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

For more information, or to start the application process, contact the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) of your local Volunteer Fire Brigade, or the Principal Rural Fire Officer of your local Rural Fire Force.