People wishing to join their local Operational Support unit will initially be put through an interview process. This will determine how suitable they are to join. There are then several requirements which must be met in order to proceed to membership. Applicants must pass a Police check, as well as complete details about their physical and mental health. New recruits should be physically fit, have good eyesight and hearing, and no serious health conditions.
After passing checks, and being accepted into a unit, recruits then become probationary members. During the member's probationary period, which is generally a minimum of at least 3 to 6 months, they will be trained and observed over a period of time before moving up to full membership.
Uniforms and Equipment
Operational Support Firefighters are fully uniformed members of the NZFS and are issued both working and dress uniform in accordance with this. The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) issued to Operational Support members is different to that provided to firefighters, being more appropriate for the support role; usually it will include coveralls, leggings, boots, jacket, gloves and the distinctive blue Operational Support helmet. A pager is usually part of the issue, as it is the usual means for the Fire Communications Centres to notify Brigades of incidents. Depending on local requirements, other equipment that may be issued includes radio equipment, personal safety and first aid gear.
Becoming a member
If you are interested in joining your local Operational Support unit, please go to their page on this site, and contact the person in charge of recruitment. They will be able to provide you with more information about joining their unit.