Ten auxiliary recruit firefighters completed the ARTEP training court in Emerald. Pictured with instructors Jamie Worland (left) and Peter Heumiller (right).
Ten auxiliary recruit firefighters completed the ARTEP training court in Emerald. Pictured with instructors Jamie Worland (left) and Peter Heumiller (right).

Volunteers step up to protect CQ communities

Ten new auxiliary firefighter recruits have put up their hands to protect and support the people in their communities.

The recruits from Emerald, Biloela, Dysart, Moranbah, Airlie Beach, Moura, Sarina, Longreach and Aramac, volunteered to be part of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Auxiliary Recruit Training and Education Program (ARTEP) at Emerald in March.

Training instructor Peter Heumiller said the addition of 10 auxiliary recruit firefighters into the Central Region was very positive for the local communities.

“Auxiliary firefighters can be called to help handle a bushfire emergency, or to pick up the pieces after a major flooding event,” Mr Heumiller said.

“Our role is crucial as not only do we support and protect the local community, we also protect property and the environment from harm.

“This training aids in the capability and capacity of various locations and will allow the new firefighters to assist and respond to incidents and support their community.”

Over two weeks, the recruits lived and worked together, developing teamwork in and out of training.

Recruits worked through a range of physical and mentally taxing drills, including basic firefighting skills and drills, operating fire appliance pumps and breathing apparatus in hazardous atmospheres, responding to wildfires, electrical hazards awareness and rescues.

Moranbah recruit Julie Boyd said she signed up to get more involved in her community while enhancing her skills.

“I think a big part of the community is the fact we all help each other,” she said.

“In small communities, people go out of their way to help others when they need help, and that’s what we’re doing.

“[Training] has been intense and hard but rewarding and I’ve learnt a lot from it.”

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Emerald’s Blake Repine said small, regional communities relied on volunteers.

“This is my way of giving back to the community and helping out our region,” he said.

“Volunteers are the key to keep these things going and keep our communities safe.”

The March training program was the second auxiliary recruit course held in Emerald within the last five years, allowing QFES to support small towns and regional areas such as Yeppoon, Emerald, Biloela and Barcaldine.

“I would urge anyone wanting to give back to their community, become an Auxiliary firefighter,” Mr Heumiller said.

Find out more about becoming an auxiliary firefighter on the QFES website.


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