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New career firefighters start today
CFA’s 21 new career firefighters have arrived on station today, joining the ranks of more than 685 already protecting lives and property at fire stations across Victoria and supporting CFA’s 55,000 volunteers.
Learn more about the new firefighters below and make them feel welcome in their new communities.
Brett Nagorcka - Ballarat
23-year-old Brett Nagorcka was a volunteer before applying for recruits, at Hamilton brigade and now Belmont. He worked as an aircraft technician, based in Geelong but frequently travelling up to Melbourne and Sydney.
David Nightingale - Ballarat
29-year-old David Nightingale left a career as a rope access technician to become a career firefighter with CFA. From Boronia in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs, he’s looking forward to a regional change and says he can’t wait to put all the training practices into real life. David devotes a lot of his free time as a volunteer running outdoor education camps for kids and is also a committed vegan and animal rights campaigner.
Stacey Greenwood – Belmont
34-year-old Stacey Greenwood spent 12 years with the Air Force, working as a dog-handler providing security for fighter jets. She grew up in the town of Bass on Phillip Island and was a CFA volunteer from the age of 17 to 21.
Stacey received the prestigious ‘Practical Award’ for the 2014 grading recruit course.
James Butler - Belmont
25-year old James Butler was anoccupational therapist before becoming a CFA recruit. He is a volunteer with Upwey brigade, currently serving as 1st lieutenant. He likes snowboarding, playing guitar (badly) and road trips.
Nicole Eames - Bendigo
24-year-old Nicole Eames worked as a physio in the public health system in her home town in Ballarat, where she also played basketball competitively growing up. She still gets into outdoor activities and hiking whenever she can.
Chris Tanner – Caroline Springs
33-year-old Chris Tanner worked for the past two years for a transport company – work which he enjoyed but confirmed that an office job was not for him. In the nine years previous that led adventure travel and camping safaris in Africa and South America.
Lindsay Forbes – Cranbourne
35-year-old Lindsay Forbesspent 10 years as aPolice Officer in Cranbourne, and also worked for five years as a physical education teacher. He enjoys spending time with his partner and two children and says the toughest part about the recruit course has been being away from them.
Lindsay received the prestigious ‘Instructor’s Award’ for the 2014 grading recruit course.
Andrew Fox-Lane - Cranbourne
31-year-old Andrew Fox Lanehas a defence background, serving as aRifleman with the Army, and also completed a Bachelor of Communications at Monash. He’s now living in Parkdale and loves kiteboarding and snowboarding (New Zealand is his dream destination).
Matthew Baber – Hoppers Crossing
41-year-old Matthew Baber is married with two kids, and loves surfing and helping out with nippers at the local surf lifesaving club. Before CFA, he was atool-maker in the automotive industry, and before that in the oil and gas industry. He’s lived in Altona Meadows for 20 years, and believes that – with so much to learn about firefighting – this local knowledge will be an advantage.
Chris Gleeson - Hoppers Crossing
39-year-old Chris was amember of the police force for ten years before entering the CFA recruit course. As a police officer he would watch the fireys and the camaraderie they share and think: “that’s what I want to do”. He’s looking forward to starting at Hoppers Crossing because it’s a busy station with a lot of variety. Outside of work he’s focused on spending time with his one-year-old daughter.
Brad Clarkson – Mildura
25-year-old Brad, a former diesel mechanic and keen footy player, was a CFA volunteer for around 10 years in his home town of Diamond Creek before taking steps to become a career firefighter. He’s looking forward to moving to Mildura because “…the weather is great and there’s a nice vibe in the town.”
Cal Steel - Mildura
24-year old Cal Steeleworked as asurveyor before successfully applying to enter CFA recruit training and was a volunteer with St Andrews Fire Brigade.
Clint Mark – Morwell
33-year-old Clint Mark is a father of two girls (aged 7 and 4), and prior to CFA ran his own landscaping business in Cockatoo/Emerald. He enjoys hiking in the mountains and is looking forward to outdoor activities around Gippsland.
Chris Napier – Morwell
Originally from NSW, Chris has been working as a fire safety officer for CFA giving advice to residents about making their homes safer from bushfire. Chris is akeen mountain biker and kite surfer, looking forward to all the outdoor activities Gippsland has to offer.
Mick Vincent - Rosebud
37-year-old Mick Vincent is a firefighter from Darwin, who has re-trained with CFA to become familiar with all the skills and processes specific to Victoria. He’s moved back to Melbourne to be closer to family on the Peninsula. He’s previously worked for the Department of Sustainability and Environment at Halls Gap. Mick and his wife have two kids aged two and four.
Steve Trist – Rosebud
Steve previously worked as an electrician and has a diverse tradesman background, most recently living in Newcastle. He’s extremely used to working in a team environment and is looking forward to some of the challenges that come with firefighting, like confined spaces and heights.
He’s been interested in firefighting for years and is keen to work with the community and help people. Outside of work Steve is a keensurfer.
Jake Box - Caroline Springs
23-year-old Jake Boxis a born and bred Sunbury boy who plays footy for the local senior teamand who worked as aforklift driver before coming on board with CFA. Over his life he’s seen Sunbury and the whole fringe area of Melbourne changing fast, with new estates being built, and is looking forward to getting out there and protect those communities. The recruit course was the hardest thing he’s ever done.
Phillip Leach - Wangaratta
35-year old Phillip Leach worked as aprinter andphotocopier technician before starting with CFA. With family in Wangaratta, he knows the town well, and plans to commute from his home town of Wodonga. Most of his free time is spent keeping up with his two boys aged 9 and 5 and is also into anything mechanical – he’s currently building a hot rod. With family in the CFA he grew up around the organisation and even lived at the Wodonga fire station for a time.
Scott Lilley - Warrnambool
33-year-old Scott, a former plasterer, isborn and bred in Warrnambool. He enjoys golf and a bit of surfing.
Shaun McManamny - Wodonga
36-year-old Shaun McManamny worked as anoutdoor education instructor and guide with a range of schools, groups and clients before starting the CFA recruit course. Shaun and his wife spend a lot of their free time in the Alpine area walking or skiing so looking forward to moving to the North East.
Shaun was the recipient of the prestigious Theoretical Award for the June 2014 graduating recruit course.