RFS Qualification: Village Firefighter
The Village Firefighter (VF) program is targeted at suitable people with no or little previous
experience or expertise in fighting fires involving small structures, vehicles or similar risks. Village
Firefighter (VF) is the minimum standard needed for people to attend and actively participate in
fighting village type fires.
Village Firefighter (VF) is an internal RFS mainstream program for persons to carry out small
structural, vehicle and similar ”village” firefighting activities under direct supervision.
It is designed to enable suitable people to work within a supervised team of firefighters using
relevant equipment and communications to control village type fires safely and effectively.
The following unit/s of competency are aligned with this program:
Title of Unit of Competency
|Respond to Isolated/Remote Structure Fire
Covered by the VF Program
The following units are also aligned with the VF program, but (apart from some VF specific
aspects) are usually covered in a prior or integrated BF program.
|Work in a Team
Note: The RFS VF program also covers some types of situations not referred to specifically in PUAFIR202A Respond to
Isolated/Remote Structure Fire (e.g. vehicle fires).
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:
The prerequisite for PUAFIR202A Respond to Isolated/Remote Structure Fire is PUAFIR201A
Prevent Injury. The co-requisite for PUAFIR202A Respond to Isolated/Remote Structure Fire is
PUATEA001A Work in a Team. These prerequisite and co-requisite requirements are taken into
account in the structure of the VF or BF/VF program.
Assessment and Certification:
The summative assessment for each applicant shall have three components:
- 20 to 25 questions (either oral, short written answer, or multiple choice) covering the theoretical subject matter. (The multiple-choice format pass mark is to be in the 70-80% range). This component is to be completed before the practical component of the assessment.
- A practical assessment in which their performance as a firefighter is observed during at least three simulated bush firefighting scenarios. The scenarios shall be plausible, safely simulated and cover a reasonable range of events. The scenarios shall include a typical direct attack, an indirect attack and defensive operations at simulated bush fires.
- Confirmation from trainers and officers who have observed the performance of applicants that
the specified performance requirements have been met and are applied consistently.
The practical assessment should be conducted when trainees have completed all the relevant learning and practice sessions, or may be integrated within the final practice sessions. A holistic approach to assessment should be used. The assessment should combine the related competencies in ways that they will need to be used at actual incidents. In particular, the applicant should show clear evidence that they can satisfy the following:
||Fight fires and deal with other incidents involving common combustibles in the
open, small structures, vehicles and common flammable fuels
||In a typical range of environments, in the relevant mode (offensive or
In a typical range of environments, not involving dangerous goods apart from
common flammable fuels, in a defensive mode, using appropriate firefighting
procedures, while acting as part of a team, under constant direct supervision,
and dealing with any contingencies that could reasonably be expected to arise
||Such that operations are conducted without injury, losses are minimised,
activities are well coordinated and operational objectives are achieved.
A face-to-face component designed to develop the participant’s village firefighting
competencies during a training course with a nominal duration of 40 hours. This is normally
conducted at a local District/Team/Zone level using local facilities, trainers and assessors..
Note: Distance education or e-learning may be used as alternative approaches to cover the underpinning knowledge component of the program, provided adequate learner support is made available (e.g. by phone/email) and that persons with limited literacy or numeracy skills can still effectively participate in the program.
Practice in applying, developing and consolidating those competencies by participating in a specified set of less formal learning activities, either within their own brigade or otherwise provided by local trainers until the needed standard of performance is reached (typically over about 20 hours of activities).
The training content shall include the following topics of underpinning knowledge:
- Importance of firefighter health and fitness - stress and fatigue identification and control.
- Firefighting and other hazards – identification, reporting, precautions and control.
- Use, care and limitations of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Participating in the Service’s health, safety and welfare arrangements.
- Interpersonal communication and team participation techniques.
- Service and brigade organisation.
- Quality of service and expected code of conduct.
- Disciplinary matters and grievance handling procedures.
- Certification and licensing requirements – access to training and RPL.
- Communications equipment – operation, procedures, care and limitations.
- Bush fire behaviour and the factors affecting it – and how bush fires involve structures.
- Extinguishing media and techniques – sources, characteristics and limitations.
- Use of firefighting and ancillary equipment – and associated signals.
- Firefighting strategies, tactics and procedures.
The training content shall include the following applied knowledge and skills:
- Safety hazard identification, reporting, precautions and control.
- Use and care of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Interpersonal communication skills - (e.g. signals, listening, sharing information and feedback).
- Team skills – (e.g. active participation and team support skills).
- Practical equipment familiarisation – safe, effective use and care.
- Practical firefighting techniques, drills and exercises.
- Practical use of communications equipment and procedures.
Relevant safety aspects need to be covered before practical activities are undertaken.
Recognition of Prior Learning / Recognition Current Competence:
- Prior to commencing the program, each applicant should be advised of, and should consider the possibility of gaining certification through, recognition of prior learning (RPL).
- Next the applicant should check the likelihood of successful RPL by honestly answering the self-evaluation questions in the How to Become Qualified in BF Booklet/CD-ROM.
- If those answers indicate RPL is likely to be successful, the applicant should compile the relevant evidence and seek RPL as indicated in How to Become Qualified in BF Booklet.
- If those answers indicate that RPL is likely for part of the program, the applicant should speak with their trainer/assessor about possible exemption from that part of the program.
If those answers indicate that RPL is unlikely, they should participate in the full program.
- Shelf life - VF certification has an indefinite shelf life. However, challenge testing and/or
refresher training may be required if the qualification has not been used for more than three
years or there is evidence that current performance is not to the needed standard.
- Recent experience requirement – No requirements are specified, but it is recommended that
VF competencies be practiced at least once a year, or more often with less experienced
Village Firefighting Modules: