DFES - Department of Fire and Emergency Services
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A day in the life of a firefighter

Butler Fire Station is the most northern career fire station in the metropolitan area. As with all fire stations, it is staffed by four shifts, and during each shift there are regular duties to be performed, as well as responding to emergencies.

C platoon took time out of their busy schedule to explain some more about what it is really like on shift as a firefighter. They explained that each shift is scheduled, however, this all changes if they are turned out to an emergency, this means that they need to be flexible, and ready to go in 90 seconds at any time.

Sample daily schedule

8.00 - 8.30 Check fire appliances and equipment is operational. If there is a defect then it is reported and can also mean that the station can be non-operational if there isn't standby equipment available.
8.30 - 9.30 Gym

10.00 - 12.00

Morning duties. This includes checking hydrants, school visits, aged home visits, and building inspections. Also training (Hose drills, cutting open cars, HAZMAT, BA Drills) and skills enhancement
12.00 - 13.00 Lunch
13:00 - 13:30 Stations duties - cleaning the station facilities
13:30 - 16:00 Training and inspections (similar to morning duties)
16:00 - 17:00 Stand down (unofficial). More study and/or gym.
17:00 - 18:00 Short term standby.

What are some of the challenges of working as a firefighter?

The extra training can be challenging, it is ongoing because there is always new technologies (such as hybrid cars) that we need to know about, so keeping on top of it all can be demanding. Some of the situations that you deal with can be confronting and stressful, and the people in those situations might not be thinking clearly, so that be difficult as well.

What are the best aspects of the job?

Camaraderie with the people on shift, there are lots of personalities that you meet. The adrenaline rush of going to a job - you don't know what's going to happen next, you can go anywhere. Getting involved in the community, people wave at us in the appliance, which you wouldn't get with other jobs.

Is there anything you think people should know about working with FRS/DFES?

It is not just about putting out fires! There are different departments that support crews at the operations end! From the mechanics that make sure the fire trucks run, to making sure that the firefighter and everyone gets paid! This is not a 9-5 job!

More information

You can read more about the roles and responsibilities of the career Fire and Rescue Service by clicking here.


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