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Career firefighters join CFA
CFA added 21 new career firefighters to the more than 685 already protecting lives and property at fire stations across Victoria, at an official graduation ceremony at Fiskville Training College today.
Chief Officer Euan Ferguson welcomed the new firefighters to CFA at the ceremony, which also included a live firefighting display, marking the end of the intensive 16-week training course.
“Our career firefighters play a key role in supporting CFA’s 55,000 volunteers while protecting and serving the community at integrated brigades across Victoria,” Mr Ferguson said.
“They have learned and practised the skills they will require to successfully embark on their new careers as firefighters.
“They should all feel proud of their accomplishments and I welcome them to the CFA family.”
In coming weeks the new career firefighters (aged between 23 and 41 years) will begin work at 13 locations in Melbourne and regional Victoria – Hoppers Crossing, Caroline Springs, Sunbury, Belmont, Warrnambool, Bendigo, Ballarat City, Mildura, Wodonga, Wangaratta, Morwell, Cranbourne and Rosebud. (Pictures, profiles and audio grabs available upon request).
It’s the first of four recruit training courses to be completed in 2014 and brings to 181 the number of additional career staff recruited since 2011.
CFA is currently taking applications and is especially keen to increase the number of women career firefighters.
An information session aimed specifically at women contemplating a career in firefighting will be held at CFA’s Bangholme Training College on Saturday, 14 June at 10am.
In addition to the Chief Officer, the graduates were joined by Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services David Southwick, CFA Chair Claire Higgins and CFA Chief Executive Officer Mick Bourke.
CFA’s newest firefighters bring with them a range of professional backgrounds including trades, emergency services, defence, and outdoor education.
Four also have previous experience as CFA volunteer firefighters and another two have served with interstate fire agencies.
The new firefighters will now embark on lengthy an intensive on-the-job training phase.
CFA protects the lives and property of more than 3 million Victorians, including 60 per cent of Melbourne. It attends as many as 40,000 incidents every year, of which fewer than 10 per cent are bushfires.