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Join our Operational Officer (OpO) Program

About the OpO Program

A role in our OpO Program provides a unique opportunity for the right candidate to gain experience in a wide range of activities across our state-wide Districts, Area Commands as well as other specialised sections across the organisation including Head Office.

The OpO program is an initiative by the NSW RFS providing enhanced training and development opportunities to build skills base, knowledge and experience and at the same time create a skilled and mobile workforce that enhances organisational capacity across NSW. The program currently operates across three levels:

OpO employees may voluntarily elect to rotate through identified category areas for no less than two years in each, and through a wide range of activities within their assigned roles. An OpO employee is initially placed in a designated OpO Category Area in a specific OpO role and Level. Once placed into an OpO Category Area, an OpO employee will have the choice to remain in that area until they choose to:

  • Apply for a promotion; or
  • Move to different OpO Category Area through staff assignment.

To learn more information about the OpO Program, please see Policy 3.2.9 NSW RFS Operational Officer (OpO) Program.

What types of roles are there in the OpO Program?

Whilst most OpO roles work across the broad range of services we deliver to communities and members, some do specialise in areas such as:

  • Capability
  • Mitigation
  • Fire Trails
  • Fire Investigation

Skills and experience required for OpO roles

A role in our Operational Program presents a great opportunity to progress through a structured career path in the NSW RFS. You will be supported to learn new skills and obtain qualifications to kick start and enhance your career in the NSW RFS.

We are looking for motivated and community minded individuals who have a passion for Emergency Services and want to make a difference.

The following skills and experience would be advantageous to applicants, but are not essential:

  • Volunteer and/or emergency services experience
  • Understanding and appreciation of risk management principles
  • Knowledge of incident coordination and functions
  • Knowledge of safety systems
  • Ability to lead small teams

About you:

  • You have the utmost professionalism and ethics
  • You demonstrate strong initiative and problem solving skills
  • You have the desire and ability to learn new skills and qualifications
  • You are happy to support operational activity including support of other agencies
  • You remain calm and composed when under pressure or during periods of high activity
  • You are able to build the capability of small teams, beyond incident attendance (e.g. mentoring, passing on knowledge)
  • You believe in change and are a contributor to sustainability
  • You are personable and approachable
  • You provide excellent customer service to our communities and highly valued volunteer members
  • An interest and understanding of fire service delivery

The right candidate will have the opportunity to upskill and obtain qualifications to progress through the Operational Officer Program.

We are looking for candidates who:

  • Remain calm and composed when under pressure or during periods of high activity
  • Build capability of small teams, beyond incident attendance (e.g. mentoring, passing on knowledge)
  • Believe in change and contributor to sustainability
  • Are personable and approachable
  • Create trust and confidence through authenticity
  • Are sensitive to the organisation’s needs
  • Are respectful and inclusive
  • Make ethical decisions
  • Place Customer Service and Volunteer experience above self
  • Are high performing

The right candidate will have the opportunity to upskill and obtain qualifications to progress through the OpO Program.

Why work for the NSW RFS?

  • Work for the world’s largest volunteer fire service
  • Make a difference to the community you live in
  • Full-time ongoing employment opportunities across the state
  • 35 hour working week and generous entitlements
  • Ongoing training, learning and development opportunities
  • Attractive annual salary and leave entitlements


The OpO Program is a state-wide program with a range of opportunities to work in a variety of locations and settings. There are a number of opportunities within Area Commands, District Fire Control Centres and NSW RFS Headquarters (Sydney Olympic Park).

Apply Now

Operational Officer Level 1 recruitment is currently underway! Applications for OpO 1 roles must be submitted via I Work for NSW.

Applications close Sunday 28 July 2024.

If you are interested in applying for OpO 1 opportunities, please review the Candidate Information Guide below. If you require further information, please contact the OpO Recruitment Team via

Upcoming key dates

  • Online screening assessments: early August 2024
  • Assessment centres: early September 2024
  • Offers: early October 2024
  • Mandatory induction: to be confirmed, occurring in 2025

Have questions? Why not reach out to our OpO Recruitment Team at

Recruitment Tools

Expression of interest

If you are a motivated and community-minded individual with a passion for Emergency Services, please register your interest below, and we will keep you up to date with the latest OpO Recruitment news and upcoming recruitment campaigns.

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You can also check the website for other roles which may be available from time to time.