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Can you handle it?

Thursday, 16th January, 2014

Physical fitness is essential to the role as shown by Broken Hill firefighter Jason Leo. Physical fitness is essential to the role as shown by Broken Hill firefighter Jason Leo.

By Nick Gibbs

Think you have what it takes to be a firefighter?

As Fire and Rescue NSW prepares for the launch of its 2014 recruitment campaign, staff at the Broken Hill Fire Station gave the BDT an insight into the ins and outs of a career that could provide the ultimate escape from the nine to five.

Knowing you are making a difference and the huge variation in day-to-day work rank among the major positives, according to firefighter Craig Burke.

“It’s not just fighting fires, we attend chemical spills and help in rescues, every day is different,” he said. 

“Then there is the community side, we also do things like school visits and checking smoke alarms are working for the elderly.”

Firefighter Burke explained that attending call outs involving serious injuries or fatalities was testing, but having the opportunity to help those in their hour of need was ample compensation.

“Helping people out when they need it most, that’s the best bit, the good days definitely outweigh the bad,” he said.

Firefighter Sam Carlon agreed that the extremes of the role did present a challenge, but said the support from colleagues and team atmosphere was a big plus.

“It’s like playing a team sport, you know you can rely on the guys,” he said.

The pair agreed that the best preparation for anyone thinking about a career as a firefighter was to focus on their strength and cardio fitness.

The New South Wales Fire and Rescue website has all the information required for potential new recruits and should be the first port of call for those wanting more information, reported Fire Fighter Carlon. 

“New candidates should make sure they know all the information on there,” he said.

“We’re always looking or more retained fire fighters.”

Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins described how successful applicants would be rewarded with a career that allowed them to come home every day knowing they were making a difference.

“Firefighting is one of the most important and rewarding careers you could have. Firefighters are respected community members; and being a firefighter provides you with the opportunity to make a real and ongoing difference to the lives of the people of NSW,” he said.

Commissioner Mullins also outlined that the fire fighting workforce should reflect the diversity of the wider community.

“I want men and women from around the country, including indigenous communities and people of all cultural backgrounds, as well as those with life experience who are looking for a career change, to step forward and apply,” he said.

The 2014 recruitment campaign will officially launch on Thursday, January 30.

Hopeful candidates will need to complete an online application before undergoing a series of tests designed to test the capabilities and values needed by a New South Wales Fire Fighter.

Further information can be found at www.fire.nsw.gov.au

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