Hats off to new Fire and Rescue NSW recruits, ready for the peak season

Graduation day: New FRNSW firefighter Amanda Sandland with FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter.
Graduation day: New FRNSW firefighter Amanda Sandland with FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter.

The latest group of firefighters to join Fire and Rescue NSW have made their mark.

Arncliffe Fire Station has welcomed a new firefighter ready to serve the community in its time of need.

Amanda Sandlord, a former interior designer, was part of the third class to graduate from the new FRNSW Emergency Services Academy at Orchard Hills.

The state-of-the-art academy opened last year, replacing the FRNSW State Training College at Alexandria.

Parliamentary secretary for emergency services, Melanie Gibbons, says the firefighters have signed up for one of the most demanding and important jobs in their community.

"They have proven themselves capable of meeting the challenges of being a firefighter over months of intense training, and we are lucky to have them on the front line keeping our community safe," Ms Gibbons said.

Minister for emergency services, David Elliott, congratulated the recruits and welcomed them into the firefighting family.

"They are a special group of men and women of a new generation of firefighters to start their journey and hone their lifesaving skills at the FRNSW Emergency Services Academy," he said.

Built on a six-hectare site, the academy will soon include a range of purpose-built training props to simulate fire, rescue, hazardous material handling and other emergency situations.

FRNSW commissioner Paul Baxter says the graduates are a fitting third class for the new academy.

"These recruits have shown they have the diverse skills, capabilities and talents required to undertake the varied work that our firefighters do - from educating the community about fire safety and providing emergency medical care to responding to natural disasters and hazmat incidents," he said.

"They've been trained to be prepared for anything and I know they will uphold the high standards of integrity, courage and professionalism expected of a FRNSW firefighter."

NSW has also launched its 2019 recruitment campaign, calling for men and women from all walks of life to pursue a career in firefighting.

The new campaign was announced by Paul Baxter, FRNSW Commissioner, during the graduation ceremony of 16 new firefighters.

Commissioner Baxter says the campaign, which normally attracts more than 6000 applications each year, is targeting applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds.

"We are looking for people who reflect the professionalism, dedication and values of Fire and Rescue NSW, including people who may have never considered becoming a firefighter," he said.

"Our newest class of graduates - which includes a former interior designer, a professional lifeguard, a physiotherapist, a commercial diver, a youth worker and a builder - demonstrates that great firefighters come from all types of backgrounds.

"I hope their success inspires others to apply for a diverse, challenging and rewarding career as a firefighter."

Applicants will need to complete an online application and undergo a series of tests, including problem solving and a physical aptitude test.

"Successful applicants will be trained to be prepared for anything, as our firefighters do so much more than fight fires," he said.

"We are looking for fit, passionate and resilient individuals with well-developed interpersonal skills and the capacity to undertake the many different roles of a modern firefighter, including fire response and investigation, community engagement, rescue and hazardous materials response."

Candidates who are offered a place in the recruitment intake will undergo training at the state-of-the-art FRNSW Emergency Services Academy.

Applications close August 4.

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