I was at a crossroads in my life, just moved to the area and was looking for a way to join the local community. I was also feeling a bit disillusioned at work, feeling that I wasn’t really making a difference. Although I know how cheesy this is going to sound, I felt a strong need to do something meaningful with my life. So when I saw a big banner advertising a recruitment drive for the fire station, it peeked my interest.
There is no ‘typical’ day in the service. The variety of skills necessary to do the job is mind boggling. Last week, we built a dam to contain water before climbing the 135 ladder with breathing apparatus on our backs, before squeezing through a confined space in a simulated exercise at the station. Tomorrow, we arranged for a session with one of our colleagues – a farmer, to get some hands-on animal handling experience for animal rescue jobs. The only commonality is that we are always brushing up on our skills - every day is a learning day.
You are never alone, always surrounded by a like-minded, solid group of good people. As a foreign national, being accepted and included is not something I take for granted and the station now closely resembles a family to me. Thanks to the service I have made friends and memories for life and continue to do so.
The biggest challenge I’ve faced in my role is learning how to think clearly and calmly when under pressure and learning to rely on the team. Don’t get discouraged if at first you fail.
I think I am a better person for becoming a firefighter. It has positively impacted just about every part of my life, from my sense of self-worth, to my fitness and practical skills and my social circle.