NSW calls for firefighters


first_imgStanding on a rocking platform, 30 metres above a burning building, is a view that Greek Australian firefighter Dimitrios Taousanis has become very familiar with. Now, it feels just like staring out the office window. “I’ve never had a problem with heights and even with the smoke and wind and heat, it’s quite calm up there,” says 46-year-old Dimitrios, a nine-year veteran of Fire & Rescue NSW. “You just get up there and deal with the job at hand – just like going to your desk each day.” On Thursday 30 January, Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) will launch its 2014 permanent firefighter recruitment campaign. NSW firefighters encourage people seeking a rewarding career that can make a positive difference to NSW communities – and those interested in protecting and serving the public – to consider joining. Commissioner Greg Mullins said he wanted the people of NSW to continue to be served by a modern and dynamic firefighting workforce which reflected the diversity, culture and skills of its society. Mr Mullins said men and women from around the country, including indigenous communities and people of all cultural backgrounds, as well as those with life experience who are looking for a career change, should apply. Mr Taousanis, based at Glebe fire station in Sydney’s inner west, says not everything about being a firefighter is easy. “Often you have to witness grief and loss at incidents,” he says. But it’s all worth it, he adds, once you know that everything you do – be it engaging with the local community through fire education presentations, replacing smoke alarms for the elderly, or school visits – has a purpose. “And incidents where life and property are saved due to the quick response and professionalism of FRNSW are particularly fulfilling,” he says. For 25-year-old Costas Fiakos, a firefighter with Fire & Rescue NSW for just over two years now, the profession of a firefighter didn’t meant growing out of his boyhood dream. “The hardest part is having to deal with people on the worst days of their lives and trying to keep emotion out of the situation and just complete the task at hand,” Mr Fiakos says. And with both firefighters finding it difficult when it comes to human emotions, the knowledge of Greek language comes useful in community engagements. For Mr Taousanis, it was his background that helped with community engagement, translating and has given him a good understanding of the diverse communities FRNSW serves. “I would recommend a career as a firefighter to people of all backgrounds because your actions can make a difference to the community you serve,” Taousanis said. For Costa, it was his Greek Cypriot background that helped him deal with the area’s large Greek speaking community. “Whenever we come across a member of the public who can’t speak much or any English, but is of Greek or Cypriot background, it helps that I can talk to them, especially if they are panicked. It also comes in handy when we are installing smoke alarms for the elderly.” One of the world’s largest career fire and rescue services, FRNSW online applications are open from 30 January until 13 February. Candidates will have to complete an online application and undergo a series of tests based on the capabilities and values of FRNSW. For more information, visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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