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World class dad keeps CFA in the family
Gabi Cazacenco is a real life super dad.
Gabi, his wife Camelia and two children Mirela, 15 and Robert, 14 migrated to Australia from Romania in 2013 to give their children the best possible future.
Luckily for CFA, he’s brought his firefighting skills with him.
It didn’t take too long for both Gabi and his son Robert to join up as volunteers with the Truganina fire brigade.
Gabi was career firefighter in their hometown in Resita, so joining CFA with his son was a given.
Truganina Captain Colleen Goodfellow is proud to have Gabi as a member of the brigade, and the members all have learnt a thing or two from him.
“He’s the kind of guy who will always put their hand up to help out in any capacity,” Colleen said.
“Our members respect the experience he brings, and they know Gabi has their backs.”
Gabi has a long history of giving back to the community and serving the people. He served in the Romanian Army as part of their compulsory service, is a trained scuba diver for water search and rescue and as a paramedic or ‘Smurd’.
Gabi is also a talented swimmer who has competed in national competitions with his brigade in Romania and taught children with special needs how to swim.
Gabi is excited by the opportunity to be able to continue his passion for protecting life and property.
“I love being a firefighter. Every time that pager goes off, I want to be out there helping,” Gabi said.
“Giving back to the community of Truganina is my way of saying thank-you for being so welcoming to me and my family.”
Gabi’s wife Camelia who is currently studying nursing describes her husband as the best father in the world who is always helping others.
“His devotion to our family, and continued dedication to giving back to the community is an inspiration that shines through our two children Mirela and Robert,” Camelia said.
“He balances full-time work as a tradesman, volunteering with CFA and spending quality time with our children.
Camelia said there is a very strong bond between the children and their father.
“When we were in Romania and our children were young, I had leave for Italy to work so Gabi raised our children for five years.
“He knows everything about them and they adore him – I don’t know where we would be without him.
Camelia said his selflessness is one of his most admirable qualities.
“I remember one incident in Resita, there was a leaking liquid gas bottle that threatened a house and neighbouring homes.
“Gabi went to the house and took the bottle and ran far enough away so there was no threat to the homes or people inside,” Camelia said.
Both children share their father’s passion for giving back, Mirela has trained in surf lifesaving in Altona and Robert is 2nd Lieutenant of his junior brigade.
Robert has always looked up to his dad, and hopes to follow in his footsteps by studying paramedicine and becoming a career firefighter.
“Dad is my inspiration, he is always willing to help everyone and that is what I admire about him,” said Robert.
Happy Father’s Day to Gabi, and all the other dad’s in CFA!