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27 Sep 2021

Every day heroes

From aircraft incidents to fuel spills, scrub fires to medical emergencies, being an airport firefighter means being ready for anything. Discover a typical ‘day in the life’ for the crew at the Airport Fire Service.

The Airport Fire Service, or AFS for short, is an essential safety service here at the airport. It operates around the clock, every day of the year. The team is made up of over 40 highly trained staff, with at least nine firefighters on duty at any one time. And let’s not forget the state-of-the-art machines! Three ‘Panthers’ – 39-tonne specialised firefighting trucks – and a specialised all-wheel drive ‘Airwolfs’ get the crew where they need to go, fast.

Every year, the AFS team respond to approximately 550 calls across the airport campus which can include aircraft incidents, fuel spills, medical emergencies, building and scrub fires, hazmat events and vehicle accidents. With just three minutes to get to any spot on the airfield, these brave men and women need to be ready for action at a moment’s notice.

When not responding to an event, you’re likely to find an airport firefighter involved in a busy daily routine of equipment checks, airfield and runway inspections, training drills, VR training, workouts in the onsite gym – and of course, time for meal breaks!

As the international gateway to the South Island, the Airport Fire Service and its amazing crew are essential to keeping everyone safe. We’re incredibly grateful for the hard work they do every day.

Curious about a career as an airport firefighter? Head here to learn more!