LEARNING new skills in firefighting, road crash rescue, hazardous materials and community safety were just some of the challenges two locals had to face during their training to become professional firefighters.
Matthew Dessauvagie from Kelmscott, and Scott Hicks from Huntingdale were among 24 graduates who recently completed a rigorous 17-week training program, from an initial field of 1500 applicants.
It took Mr Dessauvagie (29) multiple goes at the rigorous course to become a firefighter.
He said on his first attempt he made it half way through, but he did not give up and went for the job again.
“It was pretty hard but I guess you just tackle each task and give it your best shot,” he said.
“It’s just a waiting game to find out if you got through to the next slot.
“The training throughout the academy is pretty full on.”
Mr Dessauvagie has kept himself fit by playing ruby with the Kalamunda Bulls, but had taken a break so he did not get injured while applying to become a firefighter.
He had previously worked as a draftsman but said he decided to apply to become a firefighter because he wanted a more healthy and active lifestyle.
“I guess I wanted to do something that I find a lot more rewarding,” he said.
“It was a pretty easy decision to make; trying to get in is the hard part.
“I wanted an active lifestyle and I wasn’t a fan of sitting at a desk Monday to Friday.”
He said the training throughout the process had prepared him well and he was looking forward to the satisfaction of helping people and doing some good.
Mr Hicks (25) also applied twice before, the first time in 2014, then last year.
He worked as a radio technician for the Department of Fire and Emergency Services for the past six-and-a-half-years.
“The more exposure I got of the organisation made more passionate to become a firefighter,” he said.
Mr Hicks, who has been posted to the Belmont station, said the course was mentally and physically demanding.
“It was a pretty intense process and there was a lot to learn,” he said.
Mr Hicks said being a firefighter would be a rewarding job and there was a lot of variation in tasks.
“You get to give something back and you get to help people,” he said.