- The largest number of female firefighters for more than two decades graduated today
- Four female trainee firefighters join traditionally male-dominated service
- Lifeguard, occupational therapist, small business owners and engineers amongst former professions of this year's WA Fire and Rescue Service firefighter graduates
The diversity of Western Australia's firefighting ranks has been increased today with a record number of female firefighters graduating from one trainee school in more than two decades.
The four female firefighters graduated today with 19 male colleagues after a highly successful recruitment campaign that led to a 153 per cent increase in female applications compared to the previous intake.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services campaign targeted women across sporting events and lifestyle interests including strength and conditioning training.
The campaign also led to a 62 per cent increase in total applications and a 40 per cent increase in Indigenous applications.
Today's graduating school of 23 firefighters also includes a diverse range of backgrounds with the trainee firefighters previously employed as jockeys, teachers, occupational therapists, accountants, fitness trainers, engineers, tradespeople and small business owners.
The graduates range in age from 23 years to 41 years. Five had previously served as volunteer firefighters in their communities.
During the 20-week intensive course, the trainees completed both theoretical and practical components of a nationally recognised, competency-based training program.
Units include firefighting skills, road crash rescue, technical rescue, hazardous materials, emergency and off-road driving, community safety and teamwork.
For more information about a career as a firefighter, visit http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/recruitmentandtraining
Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
"This has been a great result by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to increase the diversity of its ranks and include more female firefighters.
"Being a firefighter is a tough and demanding job, but females are increasingly joining industries that were traditionally male-dominated.
"These new officers not only bring a wealth of previous employment experience, but also life experience that will benefit our firefighting service.
"I hope that these new female officers encourage other women and people from all walks of life to step up and become a firefighter either as a career officer or as a volunteer.
"I would like to wish the graduates of Firefighter School 83 all the best and thank them for joining our firefighting ranks.
"It is a rewarding role that makes a significant difference to the safety of our State."
Minister's office - 6552 6300