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International enquiries overview 
Firefighter exchange overview 

An international firefighter exchange gives firefighters the opportunity to improve their practical skills, knowledge and experience by being an active member of an overseas fire brigade. The programme was initiated by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Melbourne, as a Centennial programme in 1992.

Who is eligible?

Your fire service is likely to have established criteria for participating in the programme.  To be considered for an exchange to the New Zealand Fire Service you need to be:

  • an experienced Qualified Firefighter with a minimum of four years full time service
  • fluent in English
  • a worthy representative and have the endorsement of your fire service.

Officers may apply for an exchange, but will perform the role of Firefighter.

How do I register my interest and find a New Zealand exchange partner?

The New Zealand Fire Service generally expects exchanges to be for a duration of 12 months.

  1. We recommend that you download and read the International firefighter exchange guide, Exchange partner details form and International firefighter exchange memorandum of understanding.
  2. To register your interest for an exchange to the New Zealand Fire Service, email our exchange coordinator at

The exchange coordinator will send you a list of potential exchange partners.

The process for finding a suitable exchange partner is largely self-directed and it may take you some time to find someone suitable. When you have found a suitable exchange partner:

  • it’s important that all aspects of the exchange arrangements are discussed and agreed to in writing
  • you’ll need to get approval from your executive authority and the New Zealand Fire Service.