Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford today met with 32 firefighter recruits, including 11 women, training to graduate from Brisbane’s Queensland Combined Emergency Services Academy this year.
Mr Crawford said this round of firefighter recruits featured the highest intake of female recruit firefighters in Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) history.
“It is wonderful to see such a diverse group of people on this recruit course,” Mr Crawford said.
“It shows that people from all walks of life can enjoy a career in fire and emergency services.
“These women passed exactly the same exams as the other recruits and they are powerful – both physically and mentally.
“This week we are celebrating Queensland Women’s Week and part of that is International Women’s Day on March 8.
“So it’s a wonderful coincidence to be able to welcome this historic intake of female recruits.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring QFES has the personnel, equipment and infrastructure to continue providing first-class services and support.
“Our government reaffirmed this commitment in this financial year’s record $702 million QFES budget, and I’m proud to say it is delivering on its promise to boost frontline services.”
Member for Lytton Joan Pease said that once they graduate, all recruits would play a vital role helping communities prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters and emergencies.
“There are four recruit firefighter courses planned for 2019 that are expected to deliver a further 118 recruit firefighters in Queensland,” she said.
“These additional firefighters will bolster frontline services and we will continue to work with QFES and stakeholders to deliver our promise.”
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said recruit firefighters gained multiple skills during the recruit course.
“Over the next 16 weeks, recruits will be exposed to intensive and diverse exercises on their way to becoming qualified firefighters,” Ms Carroll said.
“The role of a firefighter is challenging and varied, so it is important the training course reflects this.
“Recruits will gain skills in several areas, including road crash rescue, hazardous materials, firefighting and vertical rescue.
“Once they graduate, recruits will embark on exciting and rewarding careers across the state.”
Minister for Women Di Farmer said seeing women breaking down barriers, especially in employment, was cause for celebration.
“It has been difficult for women to break into male dominated industries in general, but this recruit course shows the tide is turning,” she said.
“I wish these eleven recruits all the best for what I hope is a long and fulfilling career serving the people of Queensland – and I pay tribute to the trailblazing women who led the way for women to become firefighters.”
Seven recruits will be deployed to Far North Region (Tablelands, Innisfail, Cairns); three will be deployed to Northern Region (Townsville); three will be deployed to Central Region (Gladstone, Rockhampton); two will be deployed to South West Region (Toowoomba); four will be deployed to South East Region (Logan, Beenleigh); and 13 will be deployed to Brisbane Region.
Female recruit profile:
- One of the 11 female recruits on Course 104 is Nadia Maddalena, who has a varied background in fitness coaching and women’s gymnastics.
- Nadia is currently training to represent Australia in kayaking in the 2020 Olympics.