Our 3-Step Escape Plan

  • First Escape Route
  • Second Escape Route
  • Meeting Place

Use this space to note any additional information about your escape plan, i.e. who will assist

Your checklist
  • Get low

    Smoke is poisonous and more deadly than flames.

    If you breathe smoke for more than a few breaths it can kill you.

  • Be fast

    A house fire can kill you in less than three minutes.

    Don't spend time trying to save possessions.

  • Close doors

    A closed door buys you time.

    It slows down the spread of fire, giving you more time to get to safety.

  • Get out - stay out!

    People have died by going back into a fire.

    Don't leave the meeting place to go back inside for any reason.

About the job

A career as a firefighter is no ordinary job and extends beyond extinguishing fires. The work is fulfilling, rewarding and selfless. We help our communities when they need us, anywhere, anytime.

On this page

The Career Firefighter role

As a Career Firefighter you will: 

  • Be prepared and equipped to respond at a moment’s notice. A ready station is an effective one.
  • Fight fires, with the number depending on the season and the location.
  • Respond to motor vehicle incidents.
  • Assist with medical emergencies.
  • Undertake search and rescue, civil defence and natural disasters.
  • Educate communities on fire prevention including the Get Firewise programme in schools, checking fire alarms in homes and businesses, and offering safety advice wherever it’s needed.
  • Stabilise and render safe incidents involving hazardous substances.
  • Help with administration, data input, station and equipment cleaning and maintenance. Even making the odd batch of scones. Everyone pitches in!
  • Come to the call for whatever else your community needs – educational visits in schools, cliffside rescues, cats stuck in trees - it’s all part of the job!

Career Progression

Once you successfully complete your Recruit Training Course, you start on station as a Firefighter, and can progress through frontline operational ranks to Senior Station Officer.  

Firefighters are encouraged to learn on the job through fully funded training and development programmes. Some possible career pathways within our organisation, include: 

  • Urban Search and Rescue.
  • Specialist Water Response Team.
  • Community Readiness and Recovery.
  • Risk Reduction.
  • Trainer opportunities at our training centres.


For Fire and Emergency New Zealand to maintain 24/7 response, we operate under a rotating shift pattern, which is made up of four Watches – Blue, Brown, Green and Red.  

While on a shift, firefighters remain on standby, ready to respond to emergencies at a moment's notice. Shifts are four days on and four days off.

  • 2x 10-hour day shifts, followed by 
  • 2x 14-hour night shifts, followed by 
  • 4 days off.

During night shifts firefighters usually remain on station unless they are called to respond to an emergency event. Firefighters are able to rest in bedrooms provided during this period, but must maintain a state of readiness, for responding to an emergency event. 

Note: there are a small number of stations that operate under a “Yellow Watch” system (this is different to described above). These shifts are from 7am – 5:30pm, 4 days per week between Monday to Friday, with the option of working the 5th shift at an overtime rate. 


Rostered leave consists of 14 consecutive days within each 160-day cycle. You will be assigned a leave group, so you will know in advance when your leave is. 


The starting salary of a firefighter is reflective of the intensive investment in learning and development that takes new recruits with no firefighting experience through structured progression to Qualified Firefighter. Fire and Emergency covers all these training costs and incremental salary steps are applied following attainment of progression milestones.  

All firefighters who have completed their initial 12-week Recruit Training Course have the opportunity to earn more than their base salary by undertaking additional or specialist duties and working overtime.  

For more information see our Collective Employment Agreement.

If you want to join us, start by showing us your courage

Apply Now