Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford today (Tuesday) welcomed 32 new QFES recruits, who will be stationed throughout regional Queensland when they graduate in December.
Mr Crawford said the recruits would undergo 78 days of intensive training before being deployed in Ipswich (10); Townsville (7); Maryborough (4), Mackay (3), Gladstone (3), Rockhampton (2), Bundaberg (1) and Charters Towers (1) - with one recruit still to be assigned a region.
He said eight of the new recruits had been employed under the first round of the Palaszczuk Government’s $29.5 million four-year commitment to deliver 100 firefighters and 12 new fire communications officers across the state.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has the personnel, infrastructure and equipment to deliver enhanced services and support,” Mr Crawford said.
“We reaffirmed this commitment in this financial year’s record $702 million QFES Budget, and we are delivering on our election promise to boost frontline services in these areas.”
Mr Crawford said the allocation of the firefighting positions had been determined by QFES’ operational response priorities.
He said the course attracted 279 applications as part of a closed merit process specifically for QFES auxiliary firefighters and firefighters from other fire services around Australia.
“Unlike most recruit courses for QFES, this one is exclusively made up of people who have worked as firefighters in other parts of Australia or as auxiliary firefighters here in Queensland,” Mr Crawford said.
“QFES expects the highest standards from its firefighters and these recruits, who are due to graduate on December 14, have shown they are dedicated and committed to gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to perform this important role.”
Mr Crawford said the recruit course being run at QFES’ School of Fire and Emergency Training at the Port of Brisbane, was the first of four planned for 2018-19.
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll welcomed the recruits and congratulated them on their selection.
“Firefighters play an essential role in communities, helping to build a stronger, safer Queensland, a role which these recruits are already familiar with,” Ms Carroll said.
“In total, 28 of the recruits came from the QFES auxiliary firefighting ranks. Auxiliary firefighters are paid part-time firefighters who help QFES ensure appropriate resources are available for all emergency services responses throughout the state.
“I encourage anyone interested in pursuing a firefighting career to consider becoming an auxiliary firefighter, it’s a rewarding career and can be a great pathway for a permanent FRS role,” she said.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford