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Recruits boost station ranks

Friday, 8th March, 2013

Broken Hill’s retained firefighter ranks have swelled with the recent addition of new recruits (from left) Sam Lines, Tom Seward and Kyle Schipanski. Broken Hill’s retained firefighter ranks have swelled with the recent addition of new recruits (from left) Sam Lines, Tom Seward and Kyle Schipanski.

By Gayle Ball

The city's retained firefighter ranks have received a much welcome boost with the recent addition of three new recruits.

Sam Lines, Tom Seward and Kyle Schipanski will this weekend complete their second training phase which will see them become fully qualified retained firefighters who can assist the permanent crews of firefighters in Broken Hill.

Retained firefighters are trained to deal with emergencies such as fires, road accidents and hazardous material spillages on an on-call part-time basis.

Broken Hill Central Fire Station Retained Captain Peter Hynes said they played an important role in regional areas.

"Retained firefighters back up the permanent firefighters," he said. "They're a great bunch of lads that have come through."

Captain Hynes said the service was always looking for men and women who could dedicate time to the role and encouraged shift workers to apply.

Fire and Rescue NSW ZoneCommander, Regional West 3, Superintendent Andrew Cozens, said people with flexible work arrangements were always welcome because people often had to withdraw from retained firefighting duties because of work commitments.

"That's the worst thing, we do get a bit of turnover that way." Superintendent Cozens said as well as being paid for their work, there were many benefits enjoyed by retained firefighters.

"They're from the community and they're helping the community. That's really what retained firefighters are about."

"Without the community support it would be very difficult for us to manage emergency incidents."

Kyle, 20, works as a Mechanic at BSL and said he was enjoying his new Retained Firefighter role.

Sam, 24, works at Perilya on the Mines Rescue Team and was encouraged by a friend to join the fire service.

For Tom, 26, permanent afternoon shift in his job as a Graphics Pre-Press Operator at the Barrier Daily Truth, means his days are free for the new challenge.

"It's just something I always wanted to do," he said. "I love it."

Tom will be working from the South Fire Station, while Sam and Kyle will work alongside crews at the Central Fire Station.

To find out more about becoming a Retained Firefighter, visit: http://www.fire.nsw.gov.au

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