Australiasian Firefighter Exchange Fellowship
The International Firefighter Exchange Fellowship (IFEF) is a program for firefighters, creating opportunities for exchanges between Australia and overseas Fire Departments.
Some of the benefits to be gained from participating in the program are:
Be able to share knowledge and improve efficiency and morale
Build international networks
Professionally represent your home fire service
- Gain knowledge in specialist areas
- Gain interesting life experience from living in a location away from your home base
Experience growth in your professionalism and understanding of different organisations/cultures.
About the Firefighter Exchange Fellowship
Am I eligible for an exchange?
How do I apply?
The International Firefighter Exchange Fellowship (IFEF) was initiated by the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFB), Melbourne, as a Centennial program in 1992.
The program is a cooperative venture between Australian and New Zealand Fire Services with participation from overseas Fire Services. Initially Fire Services in Canada and UK were approached to pilot the program, and to date, exchanges have been made with Canada, Sweden, United Kingdom, Ireland and the USA. The program provides an invaluable opportunity for networking between Fire and Emergency Services around the world.
Following its inception, it was identified that there is also a benefit in the exchanging of ideas within Australia and New Zealand, and thus the Exchange Fellowship Program also includes interstate exchanges and exchanges between Australia and New Zealand.
The term ‘fellowship’ is used to indicate the spirit of the exchange. The concept of fellowship is used in the hope and expectation that those firefighters and their families will be keen to join the network of others who have benefited from an exchange and will continue to participate in promoting the program to others.
Exchanges are usually not just about the exchanging of jobs. In most cases, houses and possessions are also swapped. The professional needs of exchange partners are taken care of by the matching of skills and experience, social and family environments. Seniority and rank are not interrupted during the exchange. All benefits are retained.
To be eligible to participate in the program you will need to be an experienced and qualified firefighter, with a minimum of four years full time service. Officers may apply, but while on the exchange, will perform the role of firefighter. Your fire service is likely to have established criteria for participating in the program.
The endorsement of your fire service is compulsory for your application to be considered.
Please read through all of the information and application package documents listed below to further clarify if you are eligible for an exchange.
Expression of Interest
Applicants wanting to exchange to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade can lodge an expression of interest only (including risk assessment pro forma) with the firefighter exchange coordinators at any time of the year (applications are not required at this stage).
It is important that applicants ensure that they have received endorsement from their fire service and have an exchange coordinator before lodging an expression of interest for an exchange.
The MFB will keep all expressions of interest on file and will make note of interested areas when advertising for internal applicants at the start of each year for an exchange to occur in the following year. Supported MFB applicants will also be notified of interested external applicants when looking for an exchange match.
If you are selected as a suitable match you will be asked to submit an application form. The MFB exchange coordinator will also liaise with the external applicant’s coordinator to finalise contract details.
Other Fire Services
If you want to apply to other fire services in Australia or New Zealand, please see the information package for contact details. Please ensure that you make note of other fire services that you are applying to when lodging your expression of interest.
Introduction to AFEF
Risk Assessment Pro Forma
AFEF process map - external applicant
AFEF application process - MFB applicant
Metropolitan Fire Brigade
MFB Organisational Development Department
PO Box 151
East Melbourne Victoria 8002
Ph: + 61 (03) 9420 3957
Fax: + 61 (03) 9665 4443
Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC)
Level 5, 340 Albert Street
East Melbourne Victoria 3128
Ph: + 61 (03) 9419 2388
Fax: + 61 (03) 9419 2389