We’re ready to roll, say firey recruits

NERVES, apprehension and excitement are common among fightfighting recruits when they start the job.

But as soon as the alarm bells ring, it’s time to switch on.

Sam Nelson and Garth Marshall were at Wodonga fire station yesterday preparing for their first fire season as trained, full-time members of the Country Fire Authority.

Mr Nelson, 26, from Bairnsdale, and Mr Marshall, 36, from Wangaratta, are fresh from 16 weeks at Fiskville completing the recruit training course.

“This is certainly a dynamic job to be doing — it’s never going to be boring,” Mr Nelson said.

“At this stage I haven’t attended anything more than minor grass fires, so I’m still a bit apprehensive about what it’ll actually be like.

“When that day comes though, I’ll have to be ready to go.

“There’s no time to muck about.”

The pair’s extensive training has included the use of a breathing apparatus, fire control and fire science, learning exactly what keeps a fire burning and how it moves.

“We’ve taken in a massive amount of information,” Mr Nelson said.

“But with that training comes a really good amount of confidence, so I just want to get on with the job.

“We don’t spend much time thinking about what it’ll be like to be called out to a really big fire.

“We’ve just got to be ready to go.”

Senior station officer Paul Scragg is happy with the pair’s progress.

“They’re pretty good, very keen to have a go,” Mr Scragg said.

“Their training has been a very solid foundation, so training and experience with us will only refine and further improve on the work they’ve already done.”

Mr Scragg said the fire season is already here, and those who haven’t already written a fire plan should be doing so.

“Even after you’ve written your plan, please double check it, check your fire pumps, check the roads you will be travelling and most importantly, practise it, make sure it works,” he said.

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