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DFES seeking Mid West applicants for latest career firefighter recruitment drive

Michael RobertsGeraldton Guardian
The State Government intends to increase personnel ratios at regional fire stations from one station officer and three firefighters to one station officer and five firefighters on duty at all times.
Camera IconThe State Government intends to increase personnel ratios at regional fire stations from one station officer and three firefighters to one station officer and five firefighters on duty at all times. Credit: Michael Roberts/Geraldton Guardian

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has put the call-out to Mid West residents keen for a new challenge to consider becoming a career firefighter as part of a State-wide recruitment drive.

The State Government is investing $38.4 million to boost frontline firefighting services as part of its 2021 election promises.

More than $17m is being used to add an additional 36 career firefighters in Geraldton, Albany and Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Applications for the next recruitment cycle open on November 18, but DFES is encouraging people to register their interest early, so it can look at holding an information session in Geraldton next month. DFES Mid West Gascoyne district officer Kieran Mussen said applicants had to register for the information sessions by Sunday through the DFES website.

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Mr Mussen said the information sessions would include tips to assist with the application process and a 40-minute ‘hands-on’ segment to give people a feel for some of the equipment fireys use.

“On the last intake, our DFES recruitment team had to discard about 40 per cent of the initial applications because they weren’t filled out correctly,” he said.

“They didn’t pass the first stage. It’s a Government job and lots of people aren’t used to filling out Government applications.

“We are looking for community-minded, self-disciplined, service-orientated people who are compassionate and physically capable, who have a range of skills and from all backgrounds and diversity.”

Geraldton firefighters in action during a pump operations drill.
Camera IconGeraldton firefighters in action during a pump operations drill. Credit: Pictures: Michael Roberts

Geraldton firefighter Kristoffer Starke said it was a tough recruitment process, with only 48 out of the nearly 3000 applicants in his cohort passing training.

Mr Starke’s advice for aspiring career firefighters was to drop by their local fire station.

“Give those guys a knock on the door and say hi — they will be happy to show you around,” he said.

The State Government intends to increase personnel ratios at regional fire stations from one station officer and three firefighters to one station officer and five firefighters on duty at all times.

Senior firefighter William Gillespie Harp said the extra recruits would make a big difference.

“It’s important for us because we don’t have a lot of backup,” he said.

“Our current manning is one and three, and in the country we are trying to go up to one and four and eventually one and five.

“The volunteers are our backup and they are great, but for initial turnout it’s great to have that extra firefighter when we arrive at a job.”

To register interest for the DFES information session, visit dfes.wa.gov.au/careers/#current-opportunities.

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