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Recruits meet the Chief
They’ve completed their induction, had uniforms fitted, and spent numerous hours in the classroom – now it’s time to meet the Chief.
30 recruits from CFA’s first career firefighter recruit course for 2016 were joined on Wednesday 2 March by Chief Officer Joe Buffone at a traditional dinner to mark the start of the course – and give the recruits more of an insight into CFA.
Joe congratulated the recruits on earning a place on the course and urged them to make the most of every minute.
“There’s a long road ahead, but at the same time this will be an incredibly exciting and memorable time in your life,” he said.
“You’ll form friendships and have experiences that will stay with you throughout your career and your life.
“What you’ve already done to get here is already a major achievement, but don’t forget this is only the start, and you’ll keep on learning and facing challenges right through your career.”
Recruit Course #1 2016 began on 5 February, followed not long after by a second course which kicked off on 13 February.
Both groups will train concurrently at the Victorian Emergency Management Training College – Craigieburn as they undertake the rigorous 18-week theoretical and practical program designed to ready them for life on station.
Recruit Course #1 also marks a significant milestone for CFA.
This is the final recruit course to occur under Project 2016, a program which has worked since 2011 to create an additional 342 career firefighter and officer positions within CFA’s workforce.
With an average age of 30, members of Recruit Course #1 come to CFA from all over the state.
Seven members of the course have a CFA volunteer background, and the majority hail from a regional or rural area - as far away as Portland in south-western Victoria, Kerang in the northwest of the state, and Aberfoyle Park and Happy Valley in Adelaide.
The 30 recruits also bring with them a range of skills, expertise and experience stemming from their various professional backgrounds – including outdoor education and fitness, trades, accounts, youth justice and construction.
There are also two former project or seasonal firefighters amongst the group, coming to CFA from DELWP and across the border in South Australia.
Recruits who successfully graduate will be deployed to various integrated stations around the state.