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Col Drayton outside Maclean Fire Brigade. Image: Pat Fordham

South Grafton and Maclean Fire Brigades need recruits

Pat Fordham|

Fire stations across the Clarence need new and upcoming retained firefighters.
Maclean and South Grafton Fire and Rescue Brigades are looking for recruits to join their ranks, with an information day being held on Monday March 8. The day will inform possible recruits what training will involve, what the conditions are like and what type of work is expected.
Grafton Fire and Rescue Station Officer Col Drayton hopes the information day will entice young and old to come through and apply for the positions available.
“We’re just trying to spread the net a bit further and maybe pick-up people that have come to town and we were unaware of it in the past and get people that we’ve missed before,” the station officer says.
Maclean and South Grafton stations are searching for five and two recruits respectively, with retained firefighter James Watters from the South Grafton station believing a very quick turnaround time is possible, from attending the information day to when they start fighting fires.
“Normally it takes three months from the day of the interview till when you’re in. Courses are run throughout the year,” Mr Watters says.
The positions available are retained, so will not result in full-time work, but look to complement other work with an extra 5-10 hours a week serving their local community.
Recruit Ben McPhee has yet to set foot on the job after just recently completing his training but believes that his new role will not only be beneficial to the community, but to himself.
“Everyone at the station has been really welcoming, so for me it’s the comradery that I find really appealing,” he says.
“Even just with the training in Sydney, I went there not knowing the other fourteen people in the recruitment class, you walk away having made friendships with these people from all over the state.”
Ben had previously worked with the Rural Fire Service in the region before joining Maclean Fire and Rescue and hopes to transfer some of those same skills.
“The position became available at the local station to go retained and I see it as the next step for me with more scenarios and a broader spectrum of call-outs,” Ben says.
Col Drayton hopes to get more recruits in the door of both stations, as a certain number of team must attend every call-out.
“We need to have four people, 24 hours a day available,” Officer Drayton says.
If interested in the roles, the information day is being held on Monday March 8 at Maclean Fire Station. For further details, Maclean Station are available on 6645 4605.