Retained Firefighters

A career in the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) as a Retained (Part-Time) Firefighter

Our Mission

'Ensuring excellence in the provision of services to the South Australian community that will protect life, property and the environment.


Career Information The Challenge

Retained Firefighters enjoy a unique mixture of normal everyday activities and MFS orientated training sessions, either of which can suddenly be interrupted by a call to attend an emergency.

The call may be for any number of differing situations, which may include a fire, a rescue, a dangerous substance spillage, or perhaps a combination of all three. Normally, these incidents are handled by the attending crews in accordance with Standard Operational Procedures, but on occasion the Retained Firefighter may have their courage, skills and knowledge tested to the absolute limit.

MFS Image - Two Retained TFT on Spray

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The courage is of course a personal attribute peculiar to the individual, but the skills and knowledge will be gained during the training courses retained staff are required to attend, and the "hands on experience" gained under the watchful eye of a more seasoned Firefighter.

The Retained Firefighter must enjoy a challenge as during the course of their training and attendance at emergencies they may be called upon to work in confined spaces, at heights, wear breathing apparatus and/or protective clothing, conduct a search and, if circumstances dictate, effect a rescue from a smoke-filled building or a hazardous material incident.

The MFS has the reputation of being one of the most modern and progressive fire services in Australia. On joining, to become a valuable member of the firefighting team, you will be required to undergo an extensive development program.

In addition, Retained Firefighters should possess the following characteristics:

  • Sufficient basic physical strength and the capacity for rapid, intense and sustained effort.
  • Sufficient self-discipline to be able to accept and carry out orders when required but at the same time have the initiative to complete a task under the minimum of supervision.
  • Empathy and sensitivity towards the victims of emergencies, and the mental fortitude to continue working in what may be unpleasant circumstances.

The MFS employs Retained Firefighters in the following towns:

Yorke & Mid North
Riverland & Central
Limestone Coast
Far North & Eyre
Regional Commander
8243 6550
Regional Commander
8586 3577
Regional Commander
8725 1330
Regional Commander
8552 2252
Kadina Berri Mount Gambier Port Pirie
Wallaroo Loxton Murray Bridge Port Augusta
Moonta Renmark   Port Lincoln
Victor Harbor Kapunda   Whyalla
  Tanunda   Peterborough

For employment enquiries, please telephone 8204 3600 (during business hours) or by email.

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The Rewards

The challenges offered to today's Retained Firefighter are exciting and demanding for, despite all the benefits that modern technology has brought, the risks have also increased.

For twenty four hours a day, every day of the year, Retained Firefighters are not only committed to the suppression of fire but are also required to deal with many other types of emergencies.

To meet the challenge, the MFS is committed to selecting retained recruits who will not only serve the local community, but who will also bring credit to themselves and the MFS.

MFS Image - H L and Pump Drills

If you are thinking of a career as a Retained Firefighter, then think long and hard for it involves a big commitment to the greatest responsibility of all - the protection of life, property and the environment.

If you are successful, the rewards and benefits are many, including the satisfaction of knowing you have contributed to the safety and welfare of others and provided a valuable service to the local community. There is also a tremendous sense of camaraderie, teamwork and achievement. Some of the skills acquired may be useful in your civilian employment.

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Entry Criteria


At the time of application, you must hold as a minimum a current and valid C Class (Car) driver’s licence. Probationary/provisional driver’s licences are not acceptable. 

While a C Class driver’s licence is the minimum requirement to apply for a position, it is a condition of appointment that you obtain your MR (manual) driver’s licence at your own expense during your 12 month probation period.

An HR driver’s licence maybe required, at selected Regional Stations due to operational resources, at your own expense.

For further information regarding licence classes and minimum requirements please visit


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



A Police 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.



Provide the names and contact phone numbers of two (2) referees.


Birth Certificate / Residency

Produce a copy of birth certificate as proof of identification and have permanent resident 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.


Vision less than 6/12 in worst eye unaided, achieving 6/6 binocularly;  colour vision - normal on Ishihara plates or trade test on console with no errors.


First Aid Certificate

Firefighters may be required to apply first aid to a work colleague or a member of the public. Legislation requires employees who administer first aid in a workplace to possess ‘Apply First Aid’ (or an equivalent unit of competence) and ‘Provide Advanced Resuscitation’ from one of the approved providers listed by SafeWork SA.  As a Retained Firefighter, you will be required to obtain at least this level of certification within 12 months of a probation period.  SafeWork SA's website is


Proximity to Station

Must reside and work within a reasonable proximity (nominal ten minutes) from the MFS Station for efficient response to incidents. Note: any costs associated with fulfilling this criteria must be met by the applicant.



All rostered staff must attend the station in response to an emergency call within 10 minutes of being notified and they must be available to attend at least 50% of calls. In an effort to maintain adequate standards of fire cover and to equally distribute the work load, staff available to respond to incidents must attend the station at least for 50% of the calls and must attend the incident by riding the appliance at least 50% of attendances at the MFS Station. For example, if a station averages 20 calls per month, then all staff will attend the station at least 50% of those calls, i.e. 10, and of those 10 calls, staff must attend the actual incident on at least 5 occasions. You will also be required to attend a minimum of 80% of the weekly training sessions.


If you would like to know more about the MFS in your local area, please contact the relevant Regional Manager on the number listed above.

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