What is your job?
My official title is project firefighter but within Parks Victoria and Forest Fire Management Victoria we are known as the fire crew.
Our work involves fire suppression and management during peak summer periods and fire preparation works in spring and autumn.
Fire preparation is clearing fallen trees off fire tracks, park maintenance, maintenance of public areas and walking tracks, and pest weed management.
We do planned burns in autumn, and liaise with the public so they know what we are doing.
We also support police and SES in searching for missing people. That doesn’t happen so often. There is a certain element of danger in fire control, but it’s a calculated danger and well managed.
There are safety policies and procedures in place to help us manage the risks.
Is it something you always wanted to do?
It wasn’t the dream job I always saw myself doing.
But it’s a job I found I had the most expertise and skill at doing.
In secondary school I wanted to be in vineyard management.
Our family in Western Victoria had a vineyard and a farm and I saw myself taking over the family business.
I guess I realised I wasn’t a farmer and that there was a big wide world out there outside farming.
I started a three-year qualification in vineyard management and half way through I decided I wasn’t really into that so I went off and got myself some work experience with the Department of Sustainability and the Environment, as it was then.
I did fire crew with the DSE in Ballarat for seven seasons, pretty much what I’m doing here.
How do you come to be in the valley?
Between fire seasons in Ballarat I started working winters at Falls Creek as a snowboard instructor and realised the area was a nice place to live.
I came to work here in 2014. This work is seasonal so I still work at Falls Creek over the winter.
What do you love about the job?
I like the constant challenges that come up in both jobs and I love being able to work outdoors every day.
What do you do in your spare time?
We are currently re-painting our house. I like spending time with family and friends.
I like exploring all parts of Victoria and I have a plan to travel and visit a lot of my friends in different parts of Australia.