Bingara Fire Station is a step closer to having additional staff after several community members have come forward to consider a position as a Retained (on-call) Firefighter and start the application process. Further members are still being sought for this great opportunity.
A significant shortage of members at the station has been a problem for some time and has meant that the station has, at times, required the help of staff from other locations to maintain operational levels. A recent article in The Gwydir News, combined with a letterbox drop and discussion with business houses is starting to pay off for Fire and Rescue NSW with further interest shown in this vital position.
“It is a good experience for young people to come in sign up and be accepted. We are so versatile in what we do. It is an opportunity to maybe take this on to a permanent position with Fire and Rescue NSW or it might help out for another position,” said Warialda Fire Captain, Colin Cuell.
Fire and Rescue NSW’s, Ian Underwood told The Gwydir News that joining the team is a commitment to the community you live that comes with great reward. “It is a great opportunity to gain new skills, which could also be useful in other positions. All your first-aid skills are taken care of and you will get a good understanding of occupational health and safety and safe work practices. All the training is provided, and you will gain your Medium Rigid (truck) licence, which can be very expensive,” he said.
The station operates as part of a service guarantee to provide the community with a fully functioning 24-hour fire station. Retained firefighters can be required to attend emergency calls at any time of the day or night. Being a retained position means that there is an opportunity for someone to take on this role in addition to their usual work, with permission of an existing employer.
Staff are required to be on-call when rostered but then still able to enjoy life as normal. As a State Government position, it comes with a retainer, leave entitlements and superannuation. Once training is complete there will also be two drills per month to attend, which are two hours each. Becoming a retained firefighter involves being prepared for anything.
For anyone that is interested, the application process is the same as many other jobs and involves an online submission and meeting medical and physical requirements. Visit www.fire.nsw.go.au to fill out an application or further information contact Duty Commander Wayne Zikan on 0408 621 207.