- Targeted recruitment drive leads to increased number of women applying for a career in firefighting
- Latest class of trainee firefighters a more accurate representation of WA community
Efforts to diversify the State's career firefighting force are starting to bear fruit, after a record number of women were selected to take part in the latest Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Trainee Firefighter School.
Fourteen women, 15 men and one non-binary person make up the diverse group of individuals who will start training with Firefighter School 89 on July 25.
The cohort of 30 trainees, who were chosen from more than 1,200 applicants, also includes an Indigenous Australian.
Five months of intense learning awaits the latest group of successful applicants, whose training includes structural, bush and marine firefighting techniques, road crash rescue, emergency driving instruction, hazardous materials response and community safety.
Twelve of the graduates will be based in the regions as part of the State Government's commitment to bolstering firefighter crews in regional WA.
DFES is seeking to improve diversity outcomes and has introduced a range of recruitment initiatives aimed at unlocking its workforce potential.
They include tailor-made information and equipment sessions which help female applicants familiarise themselves with the testing requirements of the recruitment process.
Recruitment teams have visited schools, career expos and community events to encourage more women to consider a career in firefighting.
DFES has also developed targeted advertising campaigns challenging the stereotypes of firefighting and raising awareness of the rewarding pathway as an occupation for all.
For more information on career firefighting, visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au/recruitmentandtraining
Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson:
"Diversifying our workforce is a priority for the McGowan Government and we are actively working to build a firefighting force that better reflects the make up of the WA community.
"People from different backgrounds bring new viewpoints and skills to firefighting which will enable the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to better protect our State.
"This latest school of trainees is testimony to diversity and includes a vast array of talent and expertise, including an aircraft maintenance engineer, police officer, occupational therapist, paramedic, prison officer, Defence Force personnel, teacher, truck driver, midwife, physiotherapist, a personal coach, as well as from the building and construction industry.
"Congratulations to all the successful applicants who have made it this far and good luck for the next five months of training."
Comments attributed to Women's Interests Minister Simone McGurk:
"It is long overdue to see so many women considering firefighting as a career, and better yet, watching them succeed in what has traditionally been a male dominated area.
"A diverse workforce is a stronger workforce and the success of the DFES recruitment drive demonstrates to all employers that significant change is possible.
"These trainee firefighters are showing what can be achieved when women are supported to chase their dreams."
Comments attributed to Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM:
"Building diversity in the workplace is a key priority of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and we are committed to doing so through improving the way we attract, recruit, retain and value our talented people.
"The individuals who make up Trainee Firefighter School 89 are evidence of how the change in direction is making a tangible difference.
"I was incredibly pleased to see so much diversity in the latest recruitment drive - it is crucial we represent the community we serve."
Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 5800
Women's Interests Minister's office - 6552 6600