Journey of a new firefighter: Madeline's story

Member News image Madeline is now around halfway through her General Firefighter course


Teamwork and cooperation are vital for any fire brigade, and Madeline Dundon is learning that early in her CFA journey.


Madeline is currently completing General Firefighter, learning the key skills that will help her be prepared for her first turn out.

Part of a group of nine new recruits for the Kalorama-Mount Dandenong Brigade, Madeline said that the support of her crewmates has been vital as she works her way through the training.

“There’s nine of us doing General Firefighter at the moment and we’re all working together to help each other out as much as we can,” she said.

“The support of the other members has been fantastic. We have a Facebook group and we’re planning to spend some time working on our theory together to test each other and really make sure we have it locked in. 

“I definitely think working in a team has been my favourite part of this journey so far, particularly because we are all equally as nervous and excited to go through the training.”

Now about halfway through her General Firefighter course, Madeline has learnt the basics of firefighting and is learning how to put her new skills into action.

“We started with our nine key foundation skills – our ‘skills drills’ – they’re practical drills and cover everything we have to master to be competent,” Madeline said.

“We’ve also completed all of our theory modules, and we are now marrying those two, our theory and practical together, before moving on to our Learning Consolidation days.”

While she’s still a little nervous for her first callout, Madeline feels comfortable that the training she’s undertaking will adequately prepare her for when that time comes.

“It’s still pretty daunting – the idea of jumping on the back of a fire truck. I’m still pretty nervous, but it’s just about staying calm and remembering my training.

“I would recommend this experience to anyone and everyone who’s willing to give it a go.

“My brigade has been so supportive throughout my training. I think that’s a showcase and a celebration of the strong sense of community there is at CFA and here in the hills.”

Every day, CFA brigades across the state welcome new members to their ranks.

This story is part of a series following the experience of new volunteer member Madeline who is currently completing General Firefighter – CFA’s foundation training for operational members.

You can read part one of Madeline’s story here.


Submitted by CFA News