Firefighter ranks boosted

Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said the upcoming bushfire season was expected to be a long and challenging one.

‘Firefighters are on the frontline protecting the community in dangerous conditions and the choice they have made to serve the people of Western Australia is commendable,’ he said.

The Minister said the state’s firefighting resources had been boosted before summer, but the community also had to take responsibility for bushfire preparation and response.

The 16-week career firefighting course, conducted by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, includes training in road crash rescue, structural firefighting, bush and vegetation firefighting, urban search and rescue, hazardous materials and community safety.

This year’s recruits included mechanics, metallurgists, physiotherapists and landscapers.

Seven recruits will be posted to regional stations including Bunbury, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie.

Firefighters responded to 3,805 bushfire incidents during the 2012-13 season.