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From thin blue line to fireground
When she was young, there were two things everyone knew about Alissa Bellears. First, Alissa would be a police officer ‘when she grew up.’ Second, if she were not a police officer, Alissa would be a firefighter.
Last week, the former Queensland Police Detective Sergeant and Victorian IBAC Investigator fulfilled the second of her childhood dreams when she graduated as a CFA firefighter.
However, Alissa’s trajectory could have been very different if the door to a firefighting career had opened earlier in her life.
“I went into policing first because firefighting was not an option for women,” recalls Alissa.
“I loved what I did as a police officer and investigator. However, we would turn up at the same jobs as fire crews and I’d wonder, ‘what would it be on that side – what would it be like to do their job?’”
Alissa had moved to Victoria and was working as an investigator with the State’s anti-corruption body when she saw the ‘women encouraged to apply’ ad from CFA.
“I applied the very first day it became an option for me. And then I trained and trained. I’m quite small so I needed to make the most of my size.”
Now graduated, Alissa will call on 15-years of crime scene experience and a ‘get results’ attitude when she turns out for CFA.
“My biggest skill in policing was turning up to an incident and managing chaos. You’d say, ‘here’s the chaos, let’s rectify it,’ says the Queenslander.
“Like policing, you really need to think on your feet as a firefighter. In both jobs, you are looking to make the situation better for someone.
“You are asking yourself, ‘how can my skill set create a great outcome for everyone who is here?’”
Alissa will join the Belmont Fire Brigade in District 7, a short drive from her home in Grovedale. The nearby posting is good news for local footy and Auskick in particular. Last year Alissa, mother to an eight-year old and six-year old, was Barwon AFL’s nominee for Auskick Coordinator of the Year.
Now that’s managing chaos and getting results.
Read about other new CFA graduates.