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New firefighters join CFA ranks
CFA added 15 new firefighters to its ranks today at the official graduation ceremony at Fiskville Training College.
Chief Officer Euan Ferguson welcomed the recruits to CFA at the ceremony, which marked the end of the 16-week training course.
“Our career firefighters play a key role in supporting CFA’s 55,000 volunteers while protecting and serving the community at integrated brigades across Victoria,” Mr Ferguson said.
“They have learned and practised the skills they will require to successfully embark on their new careers as firefighters.
“They should all feel proud of their accomplishments and I welcome them to the CFA family.”
The recruits and their family and friends were joined by Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services David Southwick, CFA Acting Chair Claire Higgins, CFA Chief Executive Officer Mick Bourke amongst several other dignitaries from VFBV, MFB and DEPI.
The new career firefighters, aged between 22 and 42 years, will be working from nine locations throughout Victoria - Traralgon, Warrnambool, Cranbourne, Swan Hill, Belmont, Patterson River, Hoppers Crossing, Mildura and Morwell.
They bring with them a range of professional backgrounds including trades, emergency services, mechanical, defence, sales and hospitality.
Five of the new recruits also have previous experience as volunteer firefighters for CFA.
Several of these new firefighters will be making a huge lifestyle change, re-locating to different parts of the state, or from interstate, and becoming a part of their new communities.
CFA operations rely on the skills of more than 55,000 volunteers and 1,550 career personnel and all of these members contribute to protecting lives and property across the state.
Today’s ceremony also recognised years of service and contribution to CFA. Operations Manager Nick Brown received a National Medal, Station Officer Neil French, Ops Officer Chris Bigham, Ops Officer Paul Roughead, Leading Firefighter Ian Crosbie and Leading Firefighter John Macklin received service awards ranging from 20 to 40 years.
From the recruit course, Peter Cooper received the Chief Officer’s Award, Peter Luckock received the Chief Executive Officer’s Award and Leon Morton received the Instructors Award.
A Plaque of Appreciation was also presented to firefighter recruit course patrons Peter Hitchener (01/2013) and Carol Cooke (01/2012). The Nine Network newsreader and Paralympic gold medallist provided inspiration and encouragement to the recruits through their dedication to excellence. They also participated in some of the training drills with the recruits.
CFA would like to congratulate today’s graduates and wish them every success in their careers as firefighters.
Images by Keith Pakenham - CFA