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History-making night for firefighters

Friday, 15th February, 2019

(From left) Broken Hill Fire and Rescue’s Central Captain Peter Hynes, Central Deputy Captain Peter Hatzl, South Deputy Captain Amy Ellice and South Captain Leon Bock. PICTURE: Callum Marshall (From left) Broken Hill Fire and Rescue’s Central Captain Peter Hynes, Central Deputy Captain Peter Hatzl, South Deputy Captain Amy Ellice and South Captain Leon Bock. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

Local fire fighters have celebrated the appointment of Broken Hill’s first female Deputy Captain.

Amy Ellice was promoted to Deputy Captain of the South station while Peter Hatzl was promoted to the same role at the Central station at a ceremony on Wednesday night during a gathering of fellow firefighters and family members at the Central Fire Station.

Peter said he was looking forward to the challenges and responsibilities that the role entailed. 

“It’s a large role to take on and there’s a lot of responsibility attached to it,” he said.

“We’ll be in charge of assisting the captains and maintaining the station-side of the retained, so the appliance (fire trucks), all the equipment and also all the retained staff.

“Making sure the staff are up to scratch with before their training, as well as their equipment. 

“The role is challenging, but it’s very enjoyable and I get a lot of satisfaction out of all the training I’ve received and putting that to work.

“I look forward to applying my skills, alongside other firefighters in Broken Hill and outside of it, so that we can do the best we can for our community.”

Amy said she was looking forward to boosting staff morale following a busy time and low numbers at the South station.

“This has been something I’ve strived towards for the last five years,” she said.

“As soon as I got into the brigade I loved it and I thought ‘what else can I do with this?’

“I stepped up to the role of Deputy Captain in December and it’s been great. I get to look after my crew, I get to shape how the station works and get involved in some really interesting incidents.

“We’ve now got a few positions we’ve got to fill at our station so I want to be heavily involved in recruiting the right kind of people with the right kind of availability for our station, to really increase the morale and make it a little bit more social because there’s been a lot of work lately and we’ve been short of numbers, so it’s starting to wear down all our recruits.”

Helping out the city and turning someone’s bad situation around was also very rewarding, Amy said.

“We go to heaps of different jobs, it’s not just structure fires, we go to road crashes, animals trapped in drains, cats stuck in trees, and little things like that.

“But overall it’s just nice to make people’s day a little bit better. To turn a really bad situation for them into something not as bad.”

Riverina Duty Commander Dean Emery, who came all the way from Leeton for the ceremony, said the human factor was a key part of the job.

“Managing the staff and making sure they’re happy, they have all the gear they need and the on-going training is up date,” he said.

“Making sure we have the skills to roll out the door on the truck and building up our training and capability which will make us more professional and benefit the community as a whole.

“I look forward to working with them and watching them blossom in their careers, and hopefully they can bring more skills to us from their roles outside the stations as well.

“Also, Peter and Amy’s promotion has created two vacancies at both stations, so if anyone’s interested, please contact the station at Central or South and talk to the Station Commander.

“Or you could get onto a Fire and Rescue New South Wales website and apply there.”

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