Fire and Emergency New Zealand has the highest number of female applicants for career firefighter roles ever.

161 women completed applications this recruitment round to spend three months at the Fire and Emergency National Training Centre in Rotorua.

Female applicants represent 16 per cent of the total 990 applications received, which is also the highest total for a Fire and Emergency recruitment round ever.

Recruitment manager Rochelle Martin said the increase in female applicants showed firefighting was becoming a more attractive option for women.

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"We want to increase the proportion of career female firefighters from the present level of 4 per cent. Nowadays, firefighting is much more than brute strength and hoses. We have a strong emergency response component and we also undertake a lot of community work. It's fantastic that women see opportunities to have a career within Fire and Emergency."

Taja Smith (left), and Nicole Matuschka are currently training at the Fire and Emergency National Training Centre in Rotorua. Photo/File
Taja Smith (left), and Nicole Matuschka are currently training at the Fire and Emergency National Training Centre in Rotorua. Photo/File

Fire and Emergency has also attracted an increasingly ethnically diverse range of applicants.

"Our firefighters need to be able to relate to our increasingly diverse society and these numbers bode well for the future."

Applicants will now be put through cognitive and physical tests and a formal interview.

If successful, they will proceed to a three months training course at the national centre in Rotorua, starting in January or April next year.

Each course takes 24 recruits.

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