After weeks of intensive training, 24 recruit firefighters, including the largest contingent of Indigenous firefighters in a single class, were today welcomed into the ranks of Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW).

The eight Indigenous firefighters are successful participants in a pilot training program designed to encourage and help more people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent to prepare themselves for the FRNSW recruiting process. The eight successfully completed all aspects of the Indigenous Fire & Rescue NSW Employment Strategy (IFARES) program and exceeded the benchmarks required to join FRNSW as full-time firefighters.

Also graduating today was accelerant detection dog, Opal, who has joined to help investigate the cause of fires.

The Hon. Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC, who welcomed the new firefighters to the ranks alongside FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins, said the graduates had a unique and rewarding career ahead of them.

“They will be able to use the advanced training they have received in firefighting, road accident rescue, high-angle rescue, community risk management, fire science and hazardous materials response to help keep our communities safe,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.

“Today’s graduates, particularly the eight Indigenous firefighters, will also be great role models in their communities.

“I wish the graduating class well in what is an important, but sometimes dangerous, career and I thank them for choosing a profession dedicated to protecting lives, property and the environment of NSW,” she said.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said only 2.8 per cent of full-time firefighters identified as being of either Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.

“But there’s always room for improvement and I know that these eight graduates and the rest of their graduating class will uphold the high standards of integrity, courage and professionalism expected of a FRNSW firefighter. It is a pleasure to welcome them to the ranks.

“I’m also thrilled to see the addition of Opal, the accelerant detection dog, to our fire investigation unit. Canine teams (a dog and a handler) are on call 24-hours a day, seven days a week to help sniff out accelerants and other causes of fires across the state,” Commissioner Mullins said.

The following graduates will be taking up positions at fire stations in the Sydney greater metropolitan area:

 

Name

Station

Name

Station

Cody Bardsley

Leichhardt

Quentin Johnson

Pyrmont

Russell Bent

Matraville

Michael Lett

Randwick

Alexander Beverdige

Glebe

Timothy Lowe

Ashfield

Simon Brady

City of Sydney

Terry Manton

Mount Druitt

Joshua Clay

Glebe

Craig McLaren

Pyrmont

William Evans-Brooks

City of Sydney

Sean McPadden

Ashfield

Peter Fairlie

Randwick

Jeremy Spek

Randwick

Dean Gillard

City of Sydney

George Spiros

Huntingwood

Bryce Gilmore

Ashfield

Kirk Stevenson

City of Sydney

Kynan Hall

Matraville

Nathan Sullivan

The Rocks

David Ince

Darlinghurst

Joshua Sutton

Randwick

Peter Jensen

Glebe

Christopher Wolley

City of Sydney