Stephen’s passion for trucks

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District mechanical officers (DMO) keep our fleet on the road. We talked to Stephen Puglisi from the Swan Hill workshop, who recently finished his apprenticeship.


Stephen began his CFA apprenticeship in May 2019 while he was in Year 11, and spent a day a week in the workshop.

“I always had a passion for vehicles. I’m from a farming background and enjoyed helping fix vehicles and machinery from an early age,” Stephen said.

Stephen had the opportunity to do several stints of school-based work experience and also finished a Certificate II in Automotive Preparation at SuniTAFE, Swan Hill.

“At the time, I didn’t know what to do next. At the end of Year 11, a teacher asked me if I was interested in an apprenticeship with a local firm that serviced trucks. I wasn’t told I’d be working for CFA,” Stephen said. “In fact, when I was 16 years old, I didn’t realise that CFA employed mechanics.”

Thanks to having completed the certificate II, Stephen was able to skip some of his training. Stephen studied at SuniTafe during the four-year apprenticeship and has completed a Certificate III Qualified Heavy Vehicle Mechanical Technology.

He has now started a one-year contract at the Swan Hill DMO workshop.

“CFA has looked after me really well. It’s a friendly environment and I’ve had the opportunity to talk to volunteers and work on a range of trucks, Toyota LandCruisers and Nissan Patrols.

“CFA also helped me to get my medium rigid truck licence. The workshop manager, Gav, asked me if I wanted to drive a truck. It’s handy to be able to move the trucks we work on.”

Stephen is enjoying his time at CFA, but he realises that his desire to stay in the Swan Hill area may limit his opportunities with CFA.

“I grew up in this area and my family lives here and I don’t want to move away for work,” Stephen explained.

“I’d be sad if I had to leave CFA, but who knows what might happen in the future? I may get a permanent position with CFA.

“I enjoy the atmosphere at CFA so much that I recently joined my local brigade, Beverford and District, as a volunteer, along with my brother. We both plan on doing the General Firefighter course and being operational members.”


Submitted by News and Media