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New career fireys six weeks in
Tanya Faux and Murray Sutton graduated from Fiskville six weeks ago and have been warmly welcomed by all members of Warrnambool Fire Brigade.
Murray is commuting from Colac for each shift. He was a CFA volunteer for about 10 years while working in recreation services with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (ex DSE).
“I’ve wanted to be a career firefighter for a long time,” he said. “Working with volunteers is a really attractive part of the job. There’s a huge amount to learn but I also feel that there’s plenty of time to master the skills the job requires.
“Once you get on shift you really feel the team spirit and everyone helps make sure that you stay safe.”
Tanya is just as positive as Murray about the first six weeks. “We’ve had a lot of incidents from truck and café fires to grass and scrubs but you can also learn at a false alarm,” she said.
Tanya has a background as both a professional athlete and in outdoor education training but she is new to CFA.
“The hand-on practical side was always appealing to me. I didn’t have a perception of what it would be like to be a firefighter. I have friends who are firefighters and I talked to them but I was really just waiting to explore the role. There are some similarities with my previous work. We’re identifying issues, gathering information and problem solving. There are a lot of people skills which are transferable but I’m learning a new trade.
“CFA sets a standard where it’s more than 100 per cent in terms of skills, knowledge and performance. You’re employed to step up to the plate and embrace that challenge.”
Both fireys praise the mentoring they have been offered with training built into everything and plenty of constructive feedback.
“You’re never jumping into anything blind,” continued Tanya.
Perhaps the most memorable shift so far has been Christmas Day with volunteer and career firefighters bringing their families to the station.
“We went to a grass and scrub,” said Tanya, “then had dessert at the station. It was great to feel the Christmas spirit.”
Four trucks from volunteer stations were also at the grass and scrub – no doubt it wasn’t the first time many of those members had been called away from Christmas lunch.
“I take my hat off to the volunteers for turning out,” said Murray.