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Ballarat recruit ready to give back to home town
For one of CFA’s newest recruits – Zoe Wathen – CFA has been a constant presence over the years.
Growing up in Hamilton in Victoria’s far south west, her first job after finishing high school was at CFA’s District 5 Headquarters.
“I completed my administration traineeship there while I was applying for the University of Ballarat,” Zoe said.
“A few years later, I became a volunteer at Miner’s Rest Fire Brigade.”
Now Zoe is ready give it her all as she embarks on her new career as a CFA firefighter.
Last Wednesday (30 November) Zoe graduated from CFA’s latest recruit course at the Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre Craigieburn.
This week she completed her first shift at Ballarat City Fire Brigade, which services one of the most populous urban areas in the state.
“Joining CFA really appealed to me for a few reasons,” Zoe said.
“I was drawn to the physical aspects of the work, and also being able to give back to my local community during their times of need.
“Firefighting seems like an extremely fulfilling career path, with lots of opportunity for personal growth and progression.”
Zoe said she feels lucky to have been placed in her adopted home town of Ballarat, where she will be working alongside one of her fellow recruits, Ben Wolff.
“It’s great to be starting out with Ben. I’ve just been really looking forward to getting started and seeing how we can put our new skills into practice.”
Formerly an exercise physiologist, Zoe spent the past five years working in exercise rehabilitation for people with chronic disease management and musculoskeletal disorders.
“I really enjoyed helping people to overcome their circumstances and keep quality of life through movement and exercise, but I was ready for a new challenge,” she said.
“The recruit course really forced me to reset my expectations of myself.”
Looking back at the past few months, Zoe is grateful for the unique experiences she’s been exposed to during CFA’s recruit training.
“Getting to take part in sessions like the mine exercise, the Emergency Medical Response training, they’re all amazing experiences to have had.
“I’ve really enjoyed this journey and personal growth, and I’m so proud of what we have all achieved.”
For more information about CFA’s Firefighter Recruit Course 3, click here.