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The grass is greener at Traralgon brigade
After a childhood mesmerised by the stories of his firefighting grandfathers, Jarrod Allan was destined for a career with CFA.
The 32-year-old is a third-generation firefighter stationed at Traralgon where he’s been since 2010.
“I was 100 per cent influenced in my chosen career path,” Jarrod admits.
“My grandfathers always spoke so highly of the job. I knew from an early age that this was what I wanted to do.”
Both of Jarrod’s grandfathers were career firefighters. His father is a senior firefighting instructor. Three uncles are former firefighters and another uncle is a career firefighter.
When the family gets together “it’s pretty much all we talk about” Jarrod admits, “much to the frustration of all our partners”.
But wary of being cast under his family’s shadow, Jarrod was pleased to be stationed to Traralgon after graduation - on opposite sides of the state to his home town of Ballarat.
He admits it’s an area he knew little about until the move.
“The biggest eye opener for me was seeing how much industry there is here,” he said.
“There’s a whole set of different skills that you need as a firefighter down this way. It’s great to be exposed to new opportunities and different forms of firefighting.”
Now a leading firefighter, he’s worked on large-scale incidents like the Hazelwood mine fire and on strike teams across the state.
But Jarrod’s found personal benefits to life in the Latrobe Valley as well, an area he could explore thanks to the four-day on-off work cycle of firefighters.
“I love the shift work,” he said.
“Not only does it create that close bond with your mates, it gives you the time and opportunity to do other things.”
“We have a really good rapport on station. It really is like your second family,” he said.
It’s also here that Jarrod met someone a little more special – his partner.
Like many career firefighters Jarrod spent his earlier years on a different career path as a golf club turf manager.
He now has a keen interest in the sport and can regularly be found teeing off at the greens of the Traralgon gold course.
While he has aspirations to eventually rise up through the CFA ranks, Jarrod is settled in his (not so new) home town.
CFA is looking for people from all backgrounds to join the career firefighter ranks.
For more information go to cfa.vic.gov.au/firejobs