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Full-Time Firefighters

Visitors to this section of the MFS website are advised that the Firefighter Recruitment and Selection process is currently under review.  The information available on this website is therefore subject to change without notice.  Visitors are encouraged to check the site regularly to ensure that they are up to date with the most current information as it relates to Firefighter recruitment.

Please refrain from telephone and email enquiries regarding any changes until the website has been updated.  The MFS will provide a clear indication on the site when the review has been completed.

The MFS recruits on a needs basis.  Please monitor this website regularly for updates.

Applications are only available on line and at the time of an active recruitment campaign.


(Last updated 24 May 2016)  

The following information is provided to give a general indication of entry standards and employment conditions.

The MFS is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to ensuring our workforce reflects the diversity of the community by encouraging men and women, including people from culturally diverse backgrounds and Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, to apply for the position of Firefighter.

The Position Description 

The MFS operates on a rank structure and each Firefighter has the opportunity through professional development to progress through the ranks. Full-time Firefighters are currently located throughout the Adelaide metropolitan area, Port Pirie and Mount Gambier.  

The Standards

Minimum Entry Requirements

Recruitment and Selection

General Conditions of Employment

Firefighting - Is it really what you want to do?

Frequently Asked Questions

MFS Photo - Recruit Training

The Standards 

As a Firefighter you must have:

    • sound literacy and numeracy skills;
    • sufficient basic physical strength and the capacity for rapid, intense and sustained effort;
    • the self-discipline to be able to accept and carry out orders;
    • a sympathetic and caring approach towards the victims of emergencies, together with the mental fortitude to continue working in sometimes harrowing circumstances.

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Minimum Entry Requirements 

Drivers Licence:

At time of application, applicants must hold as a minimum a current and valid South Australian Medium Rigid (MR) driver's licence. While there are no licence restrictions at the MR class, provisional (P-Plates) licences will not be accepted.

A Heavy Rigid (HR) licence is required to be obtained within the first year of employment at the Full Time Firefighters own expense.  In the event that a Full Time Firefighter does not attain a HR licence in the first 12 months, he/she will not be able to progress to Third Class Firefighter rank until such time as evidence of a HR licence is produced.

First Aid:

At time of application, applicants must possess a current Apply First Aid or Provide First Aid Certificate (HLTFA301B, HLTFA301C, HLTFA311A or HLTAID003 or higher level unit of competency). Certifications must be obtained from one of the approved registered training providers as listed at the training.gov.au website. To view the complete list of registered training providers please click here

If you are unsure if the training provider issuing the certification is appropriately registered, or if the unit of competency is satisfactory to meet this prerequisite, please contact the training provider directly to seek clarification.


Be in a good state of physical fitness and be prepared to undergo a thorough medical examination prior to being accepted.

National Criminal History Record Check:

A National Criminal History Record Check will be carried out with the consent of the applicant. An offence will not necessarily deny entry into the MFS. Each case is considered on its merits.

Birth Certificate / Residency:

Produce a copy of birth certificate as proof of identification and have permanent residence status in Australia. An applicant not an Australian or New Zealand citizen, will need to produce evidence of permanent resident status in Australia for example, a certificate of Australian Residency issued by the Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs or a passport indicating permanent entry. 

Computer Skills

Evidence of competency in the use of Microsoft Office (Word and Outlook) is no longer required.

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Recruitment and Selection 

The selection process is comprehensive and
encompasses the following:

Employment is offered initially for a six (6) month probationary period. This includes a recruit training course approximately four (4) months in duration, during which time the Recruit Firefighter is subject to regular assessments. Candidates who meet all the required competencies and standards at the completion of the probationary period will be permanently appointed.  

Instruction during the recruit training period involves lectures and considerable practical sessions to familiarise the Recruit Firefighter with the equipment and procedures of the MFS. Physical training is regular. Further theory and practical training is a feature of employment.

Placement following successful completion of the Recruit Training Course may be to any MFS Station where full-time Firefighters are employed.

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Career Development

MFS recognises that its greatest asset is its people and develops its people in line with current industry training standards. The MFS has a staff development program designed to provide personnel with access to quality training and development relevant to their individual and organisational needs. The MFS is committed to supporting life long learning by providing a career pathway to its personnel. It will be mandatory for all full-time firefighters, for the first six years of their career, to enrol and complete the compulsory study programs as part of the MFS Staff Development Framework. 


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General Conditions of Employment 

Employment Location(s)

Applicants must be prepared to work at any MFS station where full-time crews are employed. Offers of employment will be conditional on the following criteria. Please read this information carefully.   

The highest ranking eighteen (18) candidates will be placed on a global cab-rank reflecting their order of merit. These eighteen candidates working in an order of merit from number one to number eighteen, will be offered employment in the MFS. Should any of these candidates have more than one preference of location designated, then they shall be entitled to choose their preference. A candidate in this cab-rank shall be entitled to choose their designated preference so long as that location has not been filled in entirety. When a location has been filled in entirety, a candidate who is in this cab-rank and is offered employment, will have that filled location removed from their preferences. A candidate may still choose from their remaining location preferences if applicable.

Should any location still require staff at the exhaustion of this global cab-rank the following process will be followed:

The highest remaining candidate on the MFS cab-rank shall be offered employment. Should that candidate decline the offer, the next person in order of merit on the cab-rank shall be offered employment. This process shall be followed until all required MFS positions are filled.

The highest remaining candidate on the Port Pirie cab-rank shall be offered employment.  Should that candidate decline the offer, the next person in order of merit on the cab-rank shall be offered employment.  This process shall be followed until all required Port Pirie positions are filled.

The highest remaining candidate on the Mount Gambier cab-rank shall be offered employment.  Should that candidate decline the offer, the next person in order of merit on the cab-rank shall be offered employment.  This process shall be followed until all required Mount Gambier positions are filled.

Any candidate on any cab-rank, upon declining an offer of employment in any location, shall remain on any other cab-rank for any other location.

Shift System

On successful completion of the Recruit Course, you will be posted to a shift and station subject to staffing requirements.  It is possible that you may be posted to Port Pirie or Mount Gambier. 

Full-time Firefighters are employed on a shift system to provide for 24 hour cover on every day of the year.

In the Adelaide metropolitan area, each shift works two 10 hour DAY shifts (each from 0800hours to 1800hours), followed on the next two days by two 14 hour NIGHT shifts (from 1800hours to 0800hours the following morning). The Firefighter then has four days off before starting the cycle again.

In Port Pirie, each shift works 24 hours, commencing 0800 hours, followed by three (3) days off before starting the cycle again.

In Mount Gambier, the full-time crew work during the day, Monday to Friday an average of 40 hours per week. 


All firefighters are issued with uniform and protective clothing at no cost to the individual. If any article is damaged in the course of work, it will be replaced as soon as possible.


The MFS operates its own Superannuation Scheme to which all employees are required to become members.  Information on the Scheme can be viewed here


Firefighters are required to take their recreation leave under a rostered system. For further information regarding leave entitlements, please refer to the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service Enterprise Agreement 2014. To download a copy of the Agreement, please click here.

The MFS does recognise previous service with a public sector agency (Commonwealth, State or Local) for applicants who are successful in gaining employment as a firefighter.

Personal Presentation

The MFS has a standard for personal presentation. 

Firefighters hair must be kept tidy at all times when wearing caps or helmets. 

Length of hair, at the rear, shall be cut or gathered to be kept clear of the collar of uniform shirts and clear of eyes and ears.  

No beards are allowed.  

The MFS has a no smoking policy.


MFS Photo - Live Fire Training 2

The MFS Uniform and Dress Code states that visible tattoos must not be excessive or offensive to recognised standards of decency or reflect adversely on the professional image the community expects from employees serving in the MFS. Acceptance or not would be at the discretion of the Chief Officer in accordance with the Uniform and Dress Code.

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Firefighting - Is it really what you want to do? 

A career in firefighting is attractive to many people. At the MFS, we receive hundreds of enquiries each year from people who want to be firefighters. We aim to be fair to all applicants in our recruitment and selection processes. You may appreciate the difficulty for all parties concerned when someone recruited as a firefighter discovers that being a firefighter is not what they thought it would be. The following list of questions has been put together to help you decide whether being a firefighter is really for you. Simply answer Yes or No to each of the following questions.

  • Are you committed to ongoing learning and development?
  • Are you genuinely interested in people?  Can you relate to people from different backgrounds and cultures?
  • Have you worked as part of a close knit team? Can you work under pressure without letting the rest of your team down?
  • Can you think on your feet and solve problems when you know a lot depends on the suggestions you come up with?
  • Do you have the sensitivity to deal with members of the public when they are distressed, confused, or being obstructive?
  • Are you able to cope with serious trauma or fatalities where you are required to rescue or remove an injured or deceased adult or child?
  • Can you take the responsibility for representing the MFS when you are at work and when you are not?
  • Are you committed to always maintaining and developing your skills?  Are you prepared to study on top of your normal working day?
  • Are you prepared for the demands of working in a disciplined uniformed service in which you will have to take orders from other people? Can you accept the need to follow rules that state what you can and cannot wear, including how you should wear your hair?
  • Are you committed to maintaining your physical fitness?  Is regular exercise a part of your everyday life?
  • Are you prepared to work day and night shifts, weekends, and public holidays?
  • Are you a practical person who likes to work with their hands and with equipment?  Do you enjoy making things or finding out how things work?
  • Are you someone who can always be relied on to be somewhere on time?  Are you someone that others see as dependable?
  • Are you prepared to commit approximately 14 weeks of your life to an intensive initial training course?
  • Are you prepared to work outside for several hours at a time in all types of weather, not knowing when a job may finish? 
  • Can you cope with severe physical discomfort?
  • Are you someone that can cope with routine, knowing that you may have to do the same things at the same time on most days?
  • Are you prepared to perform mundane tasks such as assisting in the regular maintenance and cleaning of quarters, buildings and grounds?
  • Are you prepared to wait several years before being eligible for promotion to a higher rank?

If you answered Yes to all of the above, can you also provide specific examples to support your responses?  If you believe you can, ensure you have read through the information on this website and wait for further instructions regarding the next MFS recruitment campaign.

Please note that no applications will be accepted until the next recruitment campaign has been launched.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

I have a first aid certificate or qualification that is not Apply First Aid (HLTFA301B), but I have been told that it is equivalent or higher.  Will you accept this certificate or qualification?

Yes, as long as it includes Apply First Aid (HLTFA301B, HLTFA301C, HLTFA311A or HLTAID003 or higher level unit of competency) and is issued by a registered training provider.

I have a probationary/temporary drivers licence.  Will you accept this?

No. At time of application, you must hold as a minimum a current MR driver's licence. Please refer to the Full-time Firefighter Position Information Document for further information.

Can I obtain a copy of previous tests?

Previous tests are not available, however, the MFS has provided information and example questions on this website under the heading Recruitment and Selection. No additional information is available.

Can I negotiate when I can sit the tests?

Applicants will be required to attend on the day nominated by the MFS. However, where an applicant is unable to attend on the grounds of illness, they will be required to produce a medical certificate. Only then will another test date be scheduled at a time determined by the MFS and subject to medical clearance. Should a medically certified illness keep an applicant for sitting the test for a period exceeding that in which the tests are being conducted, the applicant will not be able to sit the test.

If I fail a test can I be re-tested?

All tests including the PAT 1 (shuttle run) are offered once only.

Will I be posted to Port Pirie or Mount Gambier where full-time crews operate if I do not wish to be?

It is possible that if you are made an offer, it may be for Port Pirie or Mount Gambier where full-time crews are employed.

Who can I contact for results of my tests? 

Results of the various stages of testing will not be made available to individuals other than that information provided in the letter of advice following each stage, however, the MFS may offer verbal feedback to applicants who are unsuccessful at the interview.

Does the MFS accept transfers from interstate firefighters and do I need to be in Adelaide for testing?

There is no provision for lateral transfers from other States or Territories within Australia. All applicants must go through the full selection process as detailed on the website (www.mfs.sa.gov.au) and if successful, must complete the full recruit training course.

Candidates must be available in Adelaide, South Australia for all stages of the testing.

Does the MFS accept transfers from overseas firefighters and do I need to be in Adelaide for testing?

There is no provision for lateral transfers from other countries. All applicants must go through the full selection process as detailed on the website (www.mfs.sa.gov.au) and if successful, must complete the full recruit training course.

Candidates must be available in Adelaide, South Australia for all stages of the testing.

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Should I decide to obtain the HR licence rather than the minimum requirement of MR licence, what type of HR licence is accepted?

The MR class licence is the minimum requirement to participate in the recruitment process and therefore the applicant must have the MR class licence and/or a higher level class licence at the time of lodging their application for a Fulltime Firefighter position.

To obtain the higher level HR class licence the motor registration website states that the minimum driving experience is the holding of a class LR or MR licence for at least one year.

Within the first year of employment, new recruits must obtain at their own expense the minimum HR (automatic) class licence, or they will not progress to the next class of firefighter.

Further information on South Australian driving licences is available from www.sa.gov.au.

Is my interstate drivers licence valid in South Australia?

Yes, subject to that licence being the equivalent to the minimum South Australian Licence required.

Are visible tattoos acceptable?

The MFS Uniform and Dress Code states that visible tattoos must not be excessive or offensive to recognised standards of decency or reflect adversely on the professional image the community expects from employees serving in the MFS. A full sleeve tattoo is potentially excessive, in particular considering short sleeved shirts are worn as part of MFS non firefighting uniform. Acceptance or not would be at the discretion of the Chief Officer in accordance with the Uniform and Dress Code.

Potential applicants may wish to write and provide a photograph of existing tattoo(s) for consideration by the Chief Officer prior to undertaking the application process.

Can I obtain an application form and/or submit my CV at any time?

Applications and CVs for Fulltime Firefighter positions are only accepted online during an active recruitment campaign.

When will be the next call for applications for Fulltime Firefighter?

The MFS will update this website with advice as soon as a campaign launch date has been confirmed. We encourage you to closely monitor this website.

How long is it from the start of testing until commencing training and how much notification is given before each testing stage?

The timeframe for the complete recruitment process is dependent on the number of applicants who are accepted to progress to the first and second stages of testing but it can take between four (4) and six (6) months from call for applications to issue of offers of employment. It may only be two (2) weeks from close of applications until the first stage of testing.

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If I committed a minor offence or drink driving offence recently or a number of years ago will this affect acceptance of my application?

The outcome of any criminal history screening process is considered on a case-by-case basis, however some offences may mean that applications are not progressed.

If I am colour blind or partially colour blind will that affect my application?

The current MFS Medical Standards consider colour blindness to be incompatible with the role and therefore may disqualify an applicant from becoming a Fulltime Firefighter.

As part of the mandatory testing, thorough medicals are conducted on candidates who progress through the selection process. Our Medical Standards document can be found on this website, via the 'Recruitment and Selection' 'Medical Examination' link.

If I have some hearing loss, what level is acceptable?

Firefighters need to hear and be aware of changes in engine or road noises which may signal developing problems; be aware of fire station loudspeaker announcements, radio transmissions, horns, rail crossings, emergency signals and sirens without compromising safety.

Hearing can initially be evaluated by a simple clinical test (e.g. whisper test).  If there is clinical suggestion of hearing loss, then a screening audiogram should be conducted without the use of hearing aids.

Average hearing thresholds should be equal to or better than 40dB in the better ear: (Average hearing threshold is the simple average of pure tone air conduction thresholds at 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000 Hz).

Where can I obtain more information about the application process, minimum standards and the role of a firefighter?

Every care has been taken to ensure the MFS website provides potential applicants with all the information required for them to submit an application and prepare them for the recruitment process to follow.

I live in Regional/Country South Australia, what opportunities are available to me?

The MFS has Fulltime Firefighter positions in both Mount Gambier and Port Pirie Stations. Suitable applicants living within those regional locations are encouraged to apply.

Is there a live-in component to the training course?

The training course in generally of 14 week duration but this may be extended to 15 weeks if necessary. There is a four (4) night live-in component only, located at the CFS State Training Centre at Brukunga in the Adelaide Hills (approximately 45 minutes from the Adelaide CBD).This occurs around week 12 of the training course.

What are the pay rates during training and when assigned to shift?

The current gross rate of pay for Recruit firefighters is $858.66 per week and the weekly rate for firefighters when allocated to shift is $1265.54 inclusive of all shift penalties.

(These rates are current as at January 2014).

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What else can I do that would help my application?

It is important to examine the Position Information Description (PID) for Fulltime Firefighter carefully and analyse your ability to meet the criteria listed in that document. For example: in the areas of your experiences and skill sets against the PID requirements.

Does previous training or experience in emergency services organisations help my application? (ie. MFS, CFS, SES other fire Services nationally)?

Previous qualifications and/or experience related to emergency services, specifically firefighting, should improve an applicant's understanding of the role of Fulltime Firefighter and assist them to demonstrate skills and knowledge during the recruitment process.

The MFS encourages Retained Firefighters and members of other emergency service organisations to apply for Fulltime Firefighter positions because of their valued knowledge and experiences gained in those roles.

What if I do not have access to an email address?

All correspondence with applicants will be via email. Candidates without a computer or internet access should use computers available at municipal libraries, internet cafes or local post office. Candidates can register for an email account with providers such as yahoo.com or hotmail.com.

Must I be an Australian Citizen to apply ?

Potential applicants must have permanent residency status in Australia.  An applicant who is not a citizen of Australia or New Zealand, must produce evidence of their ability to permanently reside in Australia, for example, a certificate of Australian Residency issued by the Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs or a passport with this evidence.

Applicants must be available in Adelaide, South Australia for all stages of the testing, which can take up to four (4) months.

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