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Chief leads diversity-focused recruit course
The Chief Officer has helped mentor a group of new recruits at Noble Park’s first-ever training session targeting people from diverse backgrounds.
CO Euan Ferguson joined 15 firefighter recruits from the Noble Park Fire Brigade in September to demonstrate basic firefighting skills and talk to them about the importance of team work.
With dozens of different cultures in the local area, it’s hoped the move will enhance CFA’s ability to engage with people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
“Our members come from all walks of life, backgrounds, occupations and interests, and it’s important that we have a diverse membership throughout CFA to be reflective of the community,” Mr Ferguson said.
“A broad reach is critical for us an emergency service. Language and cultural differences can prove challenging during emergency situations so it’s vital that we have initiatives like this to enhance our diversity across our organisation and build better community relationships,” he said.
Captain of the Noble Park Fire Brigade, Terence Sanford, said the brigade was proud to be forging a positive, stronger relationship with the local community.
“Communities change over time and in Noble Park more than 60 per cent of our residents were born overseas. We thought it was our duty to become more in touch with different cultures and nationalities to best serve their needs,” Mr Sanford said.
“Our new members are showing great enthusiasm, not only are we teaching them firefighting skills but they’re also teaching us the difference in cultures and how we can better interact with them,” he said.
“Our members can speak more than 20 different languages and they can act as interpreters not only in emergency situations but also community engagement events.”