NINETEEN weeks of intensive training came to an end today for 30 career firefighter recruits, marked by a graduation ceremony held at Victoria’s state training centre in Craigieburn.
Family, friends and dignitaries gathered at the Victorian Emergency Management Training College (VEMTC) Craigieburn to witness a moving parade and ‘hot fire’ demonstration.
From next week, the new firefighters will take up postings at 15 stations across outer Melbourne and regional Victoria, at Bendigo, Warrnambool, Corio, Craigieburn, Greenvale, Hoppers Crossing,
Mornington, Pakenham, Patterson River, Point Cook, Rosebud, Rowville, Springvale and Sunbury. CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson congratulated the recruits on their achievement and welcomed them to the CFA family. “This is the start of a new adventure,” he said. “These 30 recruits have pushed themselves both physically and mentally to get to this point – but I know they are keen to get out there and put their training to the test.”
Mr Ferguson said the recruits would be working alongside more than 850 career firefighters already supporting volunteers at some of the busiest and fastest growing areas in the state. “They have made a serious commitment to the protection of lives and property in our communities – and today’s event is all about acknowledging and celebrating that,” he said.
The recruits, aged between 22 and 48, hail from a variety of backgrounds and professions. Amongst the group are several former tradespeople; also a TV production assistant, graphic designer, secondary teacher and underground diamond driller.
Twelve have previously volunteered with CFA brigades, and one carried out seasonal firefighting duties for DELWP (formerly DEPI) and Parks Victoria. CFA career firefighters attend incidents ranging from structure and bush fires to rescue, hazardous materials, and car accidents. They also deliver fire education at schools.
The graduation ceremony was attended by Emergency Services Minister Jane Garrett, who joined CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson and CFA Chair Claire Higgins to welcome the recruits.