South Australian Country Fire Service Promotions Unit

Raising awareness of the roles, training and activities of CFS Volunteers state-wide


Time Commitment

The time commitment varies greatly depending on the requirements of individual brigade. Brigades train on a regular basis - but how often will vary - once a week, once a month, or some even twice a week. You will need to check with individual brigades on their requirements.

Most brigades expect members to attend training sessions on a regular basis. Sessions usually last for around 2 to 3 hours. You must undertake a formal training course, known as Basic Firefighting 1 (BF-1), before you can attend incidents with the CFS. This is generally run over two and a half days and may include an evening and some weekends. You only need to do this course once.

There are several other formal training courses that can be undertaken. These courses are optional, but members are encouraged to undertake them. These course are generally held over a weekend, although occasionally some are offered during weekdays.

Firefighters at a bushfire

In addition to the training, once you have completed the BF-1, you are also expected to attend call outs when you can. The time commitment for this will vary dramatically across the state.

Some brigades responded to over 350 call outs a year, while many others attend between 20-30 callouts in a year, so the time commitment varies. In addition to the number of call outs that a brigade attends, the time spent at each call can vary too. Some calls last 30 minutes, some can last for five days. Members have a choice as to whether they attend call outs - however some brigades have minimum requirements as to the number of call outs a member attends over a specified time period (usually a year). Members are encouraged to respond to calls when they can, and in a timely fashion, to ensure a suitable response to emergencies.

You will need to speak to individual brigades, to find out their specific time commitment requirements.

Photos taken by CFS Promotions Unit