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From football to the fireground
Making it as a professional AFL player was something Daniel Pearce had worked towards since he was a young kid, but he always knew it wouldn’t last forever.
Drafted from the Oakleigh Chargers in the 2011 national draft, Daniel made his AFL debut for the Western Bulldogs in Round 9, 2012 against Geelong at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne.
“I loved my time playing footy for the Western Bulldogs, it was a really exciting playing group to be part of,” Daniel said.
But when his contract ended in 2015, Daniel saw an opportunity to pursue a career that would keep him active and outdoors, while also helping the community.
“I always knew I couldn’t play footy forever, and I wanted to find a career that I’d be able to enjoy for the next 30 years,” he said.
After speaking with his friends and family, Daniel decided to sign up for the CFA Recruit Firefighter Training Course.
“What I loved most about professional footy was the team environment,” he said.
“That bond you form with your teammates lasts a lifetime, and already I see this as being a big part of CFA. Your relationships with the other firefighters are so important when you’re out on the fire ground.”
The 23-year-old is one of 30 new recruits who will graduate from CFA’s recruit course at Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre Craigieburn this Wednesday (30 November.)
After 19 weeks of gruelling theoretical and practical training, the recruits will now take up placements at CFA’s integrated brigades in outer Melbourne and regional centres.
“Living outside the city and being part of a smaller, closeknit community has always really appealed to me,” Daniel said.
“Joining CFA means I’ll also have the opportunity to give back to my community now, and help them out during times of need.”
Daniel will be joining Melton Fire Brigade. While he hasn’t met his platoon yet, he’s visited the station during his training and says he is looking forward to working with the brigade.
“Everyone has been really helpful and supportive so far,” he said.
“Finishing the recruit course was a massive achievement for me. Now I’m just keen to join the team out there and get started.”
Two more groups of CFA recruits will graduate before the end of the year, on 12 and 16 December.