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SIN_Winter2011_v3_SIN_Winter2011_v3 20/06/11 11:15 AM Page 5

NEWS

PHOTO: GEORGE GANZENMULLER

New firefighters needed BY MARI A TAN

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fighting scrub fires or fighting house fires, it’s all forms of rescue. “When someone rings 000 these days, they send a fire and rescue crew, even for a medical emergency, so there’s quite a lot required. For a lot of people that’s a plus and that can be very interesting.” Mr Ewing also told SIN that while fitness was a “huge plus”, the most important qualities that new recruits needed were “openmindedness and a preparedness to learn”. “You’ve got to be prepared to try to put in some hard yards to learn and hopefully what you learn will give you the confidence to go out and work in the community and help.” Veteran firefighter and recently retired Captain Terry Green served for 21 years with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) and recommends firefighting “because it’s really a satisfying career”. “Basically we’re trained up enough to cover any eventual calamity. I think it’s a very good thing to be in. You get a lot of satisfaction out of it, especially after you put out a few fires,” Mr Green said. For more information on auxiliary firefighter training and employment, visit www.fire.qld. gov.au or head down to the Dunwich or Point Lookout fire station on Tuesday evenings to speak with a local firefighter.

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people these communities have. No one else is coming over from the mainland, initially, to help. It’s the people from within the community who are going to be doing it.” Mr Ewing described firefighting as “an honourable job”. “There’s a huge thrill and joy in working with a group of people and achieving something. If there’s an incident that requires our assistance, and we’ve gone out and done something good, everybody kind of feels good about that,” he said. “You’re paid for your hours, which is a huge plus, but ultimately I don’t think many people do it for the money. I think most people do it because they have some sort of community commitment and they feel that they have something to offer.” Any Island resident interested in joining one of the three local fire brigades is encouraged to visit the Dunwich or Point Lookout fire stations during Tuesday night training sessions to meet the crew. “A lot of people aren’t aware of what fire fighters do or what’s required to fulfil this role, so it’d be good if they came down. The men and women who are currently working will be able to give them a heads up and they can make a decision for themselves,” Mr Ewing said. “It’s not just about going out and

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he Amity, Dunwich and Point Lookout fire stations are in need of new recruits, with up to 20 casual positions available for any Island resident interested in becoming a paid auxiliary firefighter. Firefighter and Point Lookout resident Bill Ewing told SIN that, although he is currently training 12 new recruits, all three fire stations are understaffed. “When an emergency unfolds, if we have a staff of 12 at one station, we may be lucky to get four persons responding. So we need to have a lot more people on the books than it would seem [necessary] just to make sure that, in an incident, we get sufficient people to fill the team,” Mr Ewing said. Mr Ewing said full training and equipment would be provided to successful applicants. “They put you through fire and rescue courses where you learn about things like structural firefighting, extricating someone who’s trapped in a motor vehicle and assisting someone who may be on a cliff face; so there’s a lot of skill sets that you attain through accredited courses,” he said. “The people that come down here and learn our skill sets have something to offer, because when someone rings 000 these are the only

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New firefighters needed