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Faces of CFA: Nicholas Watt
What binds CFA members is the common goal to protect lives and property, but you’re a diverse bunch. Every member has a story and Faces of CFA introduces you to just some of those stories.
Nicholas Watt, Narbethong Fire Brigade
What is your brigade role?
I was Narbethong Fire Brigade’s 3rd lieutenant, training officer, communications officer, Junior leader and Fire Safe Kids presenter.
Why did you join CFA?
The thought of helping my community to protect them was very satisfying.
I’ve been listening to my dad’s pager going off at all hours and him running out the door for the last 18 years that I can remember. My whole family has been in CFA. Even my grandparents are still active firefighters.
What do you do for a living outside CFA?
I currently work for a distribution company based out of Mt Evelyn and drive a truck delivering long-life milk.
I also do seasonal work for Forest Fire Management Victoria as a fire tower operator.
How long have you been a member of CFA?
Just shy of four years.
What incident has had the greatest positive impact on you and why?
I haven’t been to any major events, but helping people at small incidents, making them feel safe and under control is a great feeling.
Tell us about the culture of your brigade.
The Narbethong brigade has a diverse range of members. Each member has their strengths and weaknesses and in the end we all help each other out and get the job done as a team. The brigade is about teamwork, respect and working together.
We all get together twice a week to train and have social nights. The brigade likes to see members succeed and helps them in the best way possible so they can achieve what they would like to get out of the fire service and volunteering.
Who have been your mentors in CFA and describe how they’ve helped you.
My dad and grandparents are my mentors. I was born into CFA as Dad and my grandparents have been doing this their whole lives. They’ve shown me how to step up and be a leader and manage a team as well as the physical skills you need on the fireground.
What are your ambitions for your volunteering?
I would like to step up as a lieutenant in a bigger brigade and take on more roles to help protect my community.
What are your hobbies?
I play tennis and I love radios and communications.
What is your favourite thing about CFA?
Meeting so many new and diverse people. I have made so many life-long friends over the four years.
What would you say to someone thinking of joining CFA?
Once you’ve joined, you’ll be hooked and be doing it for life. It's an amazing service to provide the local community and you get so much joy helping others.
I also had the great opportunity to go on the 2015 CFA Challenge which was 12 days in the wilderness with a group of firefighters working on leadership skills.
I was recently nominated for the CFA Young Achiever Awards as part of the Victorian Young Achiever Awards 2017. I was nominated by a fellow firefighter for the volunteer work I do with CFA and SES.