Australia’s unprecedented bushfire season has left many Australians feeling understandably helpless. Many have responded by donating money or food or shelter, while others want to be on the frontline, face-to-face with the fires that have devastated the Australian countryside.
At Indeed, there has been a surge in searches for fire-related jobs. Australians are searching in record numbers for jobs as firefighters or searching directly for the Rural Fire Service. Searches for fire-related jobs are up 50% since Christmas and 80% since November.
It is much too late to train volunteers and get them on the frontlines to fight these fires. Volunteer firefighters are highly skilled and well-trained. But record interest may pave the way for a greater number of volunteers next year and beyond. And with climate change contributing to more frequent and severe weather events the burden placed on our existing volunteer firefighters has never been greater.
We define fire-related job searches as those which used common fire-related terms, including, but not limited to, ‘fire’, ‘firefighter’, ‘fire engineer’, and ‘rural fire service’. Job searches were analysed on a daily basis, using a seven-day moving average to smooth the data.