Emergency Responder

As an Emergency Responder, your job is to protect Army and civilian personnel and equipment from fire and fire hazards. Army Emergency Responders are provided with world class equipment and trained to the highest standard of fire fighting techniques responding to emergencies within the camp or the local area if needed.


A typical shift for an Army Emergency Responder might involve trade training, fire safety promotion, physical training, as well as the servicing and maintenance of equipment. When on duty, you could be called out to an emergency at any moment; Army Emergency Responders are used as first responders to fires or accidents on camp and within the local area. You will also ensure that the camps have adequate fire fighting equipment and that any hazardous substances are stored correctly.

In the Field when deployed as a Emergency Responder you will monitor and extinguish any fires that may start during live ammunition firing exercises. Emergency Responders may also be deployed in support of other nation emergency crews in emergencies such as the 2008 Queensland bush fires.

If you already have a trade qualification, your skills will be highly valued in the New Zealand Army. We will offer you a position/rank equal to your trade qualification, and after basic training, you won't have to start at the bottom. Your expertise will be used and rewarded. So if you think you’re qualified for more, check out further information here.

As your career develops, you will gain the opportunity to receive heavy vehicle training; enabling you to operate the Army’s latest fire fighting assets.

Careers in the Army are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.

While undertaking initial Recruit Course you will be paid as a Recruit (see attached pay table). On completion of  your Recruit Course you will be paid as a Private and your pay will continue to increase as your career progresses.

  • You must be at least 17 years of age
  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain CV security clearance for this trade
  • A class 1 restricted driving licence is required

You must have achieved the NCEA level 1 Literacy and Numeracy requirements

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

Upon successful enlistment into the Army you’ll be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you’ve got what it takes to be in the Army, and learn various subjects including:

  • Organisation and Administration
  • Army Customs and Protocol
  • Drill and Parades
  • Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
  • First Aid
  • Physical Fitness


This is an eight week course held at the School of Military Engineering, Linton Military Camp. This is the first course conducted for most trades within the Royal New Zealand Engineers. It introduces you to the combat side of being an engineer before you undertake your specific trade. The course covers the basics of field engineering including bridging, water supply, explosives, field defences, obstacles, booby traps, boating and other subjects. After the course, you will have a good understanding of field engineering and also be qualified as an Army (explosives) Demolition Handler.


This is a 12-week fire fighting course conducted at Linton Military Camp. This course covers all aspects of fire fighting including rural, domestic and crash incidents. It is a combination of theory and practical work, where you will learn to use some of the most up to date fire fighting and rescue equipment in the world.

You will be trained how to assess, control and extinguish fires. You will also learn how to correctly respond and aid at crash sites. You will attend a course at Christchurch International Airport, where you will be taught how to safely control and extinguish a fire inside an aeroplane, where temperatures can reach 1000 degrees.

Ongoing training is conducted at your unit and at the Fire School, with a mix of trade and personal development courses. The Defence Fire Service also sends personnel to attend selected New Zealand Fire Service courses. This ensures that our Fire Fighters, methods and techniques are of the highest standard and at a similar level to our civilian counterparts.