New fire­fight­ers up for chal­lenge

Joondalup Times - - NEWS -

THREE north­ern sub­urbs fire sta­tions have gained their new­est re­cruits.

Ka­t­rina Birch, of Alki­mos, Heathridge’s David James and Ja­son Whitwell, of Joon­dalup, grad­u­ated from the WA Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices Academy this month.

The trio were among 24 fire­fight­ers who de­vel­oped their skills in fire­fight­ing, road crash res­cue, haz­ardous ma­te­ri­als, ur­ban search and res­cue and com­mu­nity safety dur­ing the 18-week course.

Ms Birch, who will be posted at Dun­craig Fire Sta­tion, said her pre­vi­ous work in an emer­gency re­sponse team on a mine site in­spired the ca­reer change.

“I wanted to have a ca­reer that helps sup­port the com­mu­nity, where I am con­stantly chal­lenged phys­i­cally and men­tally and get to work with peo­ple who mo­ti­vate and sup­port each other,” she said.

She de­scribed the course as “ex­tremely chal­leng­ing” and was look­ing for­ward to be­ing able to give back to the com­mu­nity, the men­tal and phys­i­cal chal­lenges and con­tin­ual per­sonal and pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment.

Mr Whitwell will join the team at Wan­gara Fire Sta­tion while But­ler Fire Sta­tion will wel­come Mr James, who pre­vi­ously worked in the govern­ment sec­tor and said he had al­ways ad­mired fire­fight­ers.

“I think I have the same goals as any fire­fighter, which is to help peo­ple when they are in need,” he said.

“The role of­fers a large num­ber of ways we can pos­i­tively as­sist the com­mu­nity.”

Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices Com­mis­sioner Wayne Greg­son wished the grad­u­ates a safe and ful­fill­ing ca­reer and said their jobs would not be easy.

“They will reg­u­larly see and ex­pe­ri­ence things that will test their re­solve,” he said.

Grad­u­ate fire­fight­ers David James and Ja­son Whitwell.

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