When Isaac Ling was six months old, his dad joined Toomuc Fire Brigade. Now, at 17 years old, Isaac has been a member himself for almost a year – and as the eldest sibling of five, a family tradition could be in the making.
Isaac’s dad, Tse-Sheng, claims that having a 17-year-old son in the brigade makes him feel old. But Isaac revealed, “It’s often a competition to see who can get out the door first when the pager goes off.”
Being around CFA his whole life, Isaac sees membership as a fun way to serve his local community. Volunteering in the Santa Run at Christmas is a community engagement activity that Isaac enjoys.
“It was great to be able to see the excitement we bring to the community at Christmas by bringing lollies and Santa on the fire truck around to the kids,” Isaac said.
Protecting lives and property is something Isaac takes seriously and he welcomed the opportunity to do General Firefighter training and learn about leadership and teamwork.
“It’s important to have good leadership skills and to be able to follow instructions to make a good impact for the team.”
To advance his firefighting skills and experience Isaac participated in the Cadet Pilot Project, attending training camps in Ballan and Sale. As part of Cadets, he experienced drills such as five-person fog attacks, search and rescue from a smoke-filled building and simulations of being an incident controller.
Toomuc Fire Brigade Captain Andrew Ferrari acknowledged that it was important to engage with CFA’s younger members.
“Not only are they the future of CFA, but it’s also a breath of fresh air to the brigade as it brings out the knowledge of the older members who then engage more actively with the younger members,” Andrew said.
Learning from others and taking every opportunity to develop new skills through CFA has had an impact on Isaac’s plans for the future.
“I have changed my career goals to continue learning about firefighting and pursue it as a career. I am now planning to be a firefighter for the Australian Defence Force or Fire Rescue Victoria. While I am working towards that I will keep volunteering for CFA and increase my skills and knowledge.”