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Regional recruits make up majority
Recruits from regional areas across Victoria dominate the latest group of CFA’s new firefighters graduating today (23 June).
This morning 30 new recruits officially became career firefighters at a graduation ceremony at the Victorian Emergency Management Training Campus Craigieburn, after 19 weeks of intense training in theory and practice.
Nineteen of these graduates come from regional areas including Mornington, Ballarat, Phillip Island, Wodonga, Yarrawonga and Ocean Grove.
The recruits will each take up placements at one of 20 fire brigades around the state. They will work side by side with volunteer members at some of CFA’s 34 integrated brigades in outer Melbourne and regional centres.
Some of these firefighters will help protect regional communities of Rosebud, Ballarat City, Belmont, Mildura, Mornington, Morwell, Patterson River, Traralgon, Wangaratta, Shepparton, Pakenham and Warrnambool.
Others will join fire stations in fast-growing outer-Melbourne areas including Hoppers Crossing, Caroline Springs, Cranbourne, Geelong City, Greenvale, Point Cook, Rowville and South Morang.
CFA’s Chief Officer Joe Buffone, who attended today’s ceremony, said diversity in age and background of these recruits proves the often life-long dream of becoming a career firefighter can become reality for many different people.
“It’s wonderful to see so many of these recruits coming from across regional Victoria. All of them bring a range of experience gained from previous careers and backgrounds,” Mr Buffone said.
“While they will graduate with the title ‘firefighter’, this job involves so much more. During the last 19 weeks these recruits have tackled everything from school education to driver training and dealing with hazardous materials incidents.
“Their extensive training, coupled with diverse backgrounds, prepares them to work effectively alongside their fellow career firefighters and volunteers.”
The recruits will contribute towards the state government’s commitment to add 350 new firefighters to CFA. The 30 recruits come from a range of backgrounds including defence, trades, sales, emergency services, mechanical, IT and education.
Mr Buffone said all of the recruits would make a meaningful commitment to the protection of lives and property in Victoria.
“Today’s graduation ceremony was all about acknowledging and celebrating that commitment of CFA’s newest career firefighters, together with their family and friends,” he said.