Fire Fighter



What is a Fire Fighter?

Are you adventurous? Are you a thrill seeker? Do you see yourself rushing into burning buildings and saving people from life-threatening flames and falling debris?

If this sounds like your cup of tea, then becoming a Fire Fighter, may be a job you should seriously consider.

Fire Fighters protect lives and property from fire. They also put out fires when need be. During emergencies and local and national disasters such as floods, aeroplane crashes, terrorist attacks, train derailments, vehicle accidents, earthquakes etc,

Fire Fighters are on hand to give assistance.

Fire Fighters are also trained paramedics and rescuers.

Fire Fighters can work for local government, forestry departments, airports, in the navy and rescue organisations.

Fire Fighters may have the opportunity to be selected for deployment as part of AU and UN peace keeping operations.

What does a Fire Fighter do?

  • assesses the scene 
  • determines the course of action to be taken
  • extinguishes fires, rescuing
  • administers paramedical care
  • keeps fit and active
  • cleans fire trucks, service and maintains all equipment
  • gives lectures and talks to the public with regard to fire safety

Are you … ?

  • a team player?
  • adventurous and brave?
  • calm under pressure?
  • in good physical condition?
  • fit and able?
  • emotionally stable?
  • alert and dependable?
  • a person with good judgement and initiative?
  • a person with good communication skills (read, write and speak)?
  • willing to work long hours, public holidays and weekends?
  • able to work in life-threatening situations?

You MUST NOT suffer from:

  • Claustrophobia (fear of no escape or fear of small spaces)
  • Agoraphobia (fear of crowded spaces)
  • Acrophobic (fear of heights)
  • Vertigo (dizziness felt in high places)

How do I become a Fire Fighter?

There are many levels of Fire Fighters. So to work your way up the corporate fire ladder you must be willing to do courses and training. The more you do, the harder you work, the quicker you will succeed.

To be a Fire Fighter:

Minimum requirements:

  • Grade 12 (Mathematics and Physics is advantageous)
  • 18 years+
  • Valid driver’s license
  • 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)

To be a Learner Firefighter in the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service

Minimum requirements:

  • Grade 12 or equivalent (Maths and Science is recommended)
  • 18 years +
  • Do able to do a  1,9 metre reach test
  • Run 2,4km in under 11 minutes (males) / 12 minutes (females)
  • 15 bench presses with 25kg
  • 30 sit-up in 60 seconds
  • Carry another person, of equal body weight, a distance of 100 metres
  • Complete a vertigo test and claustrophobia test
  • Pass a written test in basic mathematics and comprehension
  • Successfully complete an interview and medical examination


Selected Fire Fighters attend a 16 week Fire Fighter Part 1 course which covers theory and practical fire fighting, HAZMAT Awareness and First Aid 1-3.  On successful completion of this course the candidate is awarded a Certificate of Competency accredited by the South African Emergency Services Institute (SAESI).

Minimum requirements:

  • Be keen to follow a career in fire fighting
  • Have Matric (Maths and Science)
  • Not suffer from vertigo (dizziness)
  • Not claustrophobic

OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Ambulance Worker or Body Guard

Is becoming a Fire Fighter the right career choice for me?