How to become a Fire-Fighter?

  • In order to become a fire-fighter you must have your Grade 12 educational qualification (Mathematics and Physics is advantageous).
  • Also you must be at least 18 years old and above.
  • Must have a valid driver's license at time of application.
  • Must be physically and medically fit (candidates must be prepared to undergo physical evaluation and medical assessment)
  • Must not be claustrophobic (A fear of being in narrow or enclosed spaces) or acrophobic (abnormal fear of high places)
  • Must have a high level of discipline and have the ability to work in a team and cope with traumatic and stressful situations.
  • Must have effective oral and written communication skills

Entry requirements as a Learner Firefighter into the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service are indicated.

Applicants must:

  • Have matric (preferably with Maths and Science)and be 18 years or older,
  •  Do a 1,9 meter reach test,
  • Complete a 2,4km run in under 11 minutes (males) / 12 minutes (females),
  • Complete 15 bench pres repitions of 25kg,
  • Complete 30 sit-up in 60 seconds,
  • Carry another person of equal body weight a distance of 100 metres,
  • Complete a vertigo test (ladder climb five floors),
  • Claustrophobia test,
  • Pass a written test in basic mathematics and comprehension,
  •  Successfully undergo a competency based interview and
  • Successfully pass a medical examination.

The above assessment is carried out on an elimination basis, which means that should an applicant not meet the required standard in a competency assessment; the applicant will not be permitted to proceed to the next competency assessment.

On successful completion of the assessment an applicant is appointed as a Learner Fighter and enters the Training Program. Candidates are appointed on a contract until training is completed.  

Thereafter a candidate will complete the 16 week Fire-Fighter 1 course module which consists of a practical and a theoretical component. Training is a combination of 'real life' scenarios simulated in a controlled environment as well as classroom orientated sessions. Throughout the four month course, values such as teamwork, discipline and perseverance are instilled, ensuring all recruits have a solid basis to start a rewarding career in the CTFRS.

The CTFRS' Fire Training Academy, which is located in Epping, is accredited with the LG Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) and South African Emergency Services Institute (SAESI). Supplementary courses (offered by external service providers) include Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA), Ambulance Emergency Assistant (AEA), Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Advanced Driving. Additional courses are added to the prospectus as they are developed. Cited:, 2011.

Thereafter, and upon successful completion of the prescribed training course candidates are offered permanent employment with the City of Cape Town.

You can also choose to become a New South Wales Fire Brigade (NSWFB) or a Forest Fire Fighter. To join the NSWFB, you will need to go through a series of applications, background checks, academic and physical check. For more information on NSWFB, click here.

Forest Fire Fighter

  1. Forest or wilderness certification will start off with an individual going to school and training and acquiring their incidence qualification card, sometimes called the red card. This type of training insures the individual has understood basic fire behavior, fire chemistry and science, working with tools and the other areas that need to be covered before an individual can go out and fight forest and wilderness fires.
  2.  Many times the application process can take place online or you can contact those agencies directly to inquire as to how to go about applying to become a forest type or wilderness firefighter. There's also a great deal of agencies such as the government and national agencies that are always looking for part time fire-fighters during the fire season or the busy season of the year when the forest fire-fighters are needed and forest fires are prevalent. Forest firefighting can be a very rewarding dangerous and challenging occupation. Cited:, 2011.

For more information, contact the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service:

Tel: 021 590 1918 or 021 534 7608 or visit their web page.

For Fire-fighter jobs, click here.



Page Created: 27 January 2011