17 December, 2023
Time to fire up
A Somerset-based firefighting program for secondary school students is set to continue in 2024, if sufficient enrolment numbers can be reached.
This comes after members from the Rural Fire Service (RFS) had a meeting at the Villeneuve Rural Fire Station in October, amid concerns that the Certificate II Public Safety (Firefighting Operations) program may close down.
The program has run in conjunction with Kilcoy State High School (KSHS) since 2009, with students from this school enrolling in the program and graduating not only as a volunteer firefighter but also with four credits towards their Queensland Certificate of Education.
KSHS is again willing to support the program, and will release students for training on set Wednesdays.
Villeneuve Rural Fire Brigade (RFB) Crew Leader, Graham King, who has run the program since its inception, said student enrolments were needed to make the program feasible for 2024.
“Due to multiple complexities where volunteers/mentors from surrounding brigades have gone in to bat for the program, it is only at this very late stage of the year that the ‘all clear’ has been given,” he said.
With the program being a combination of practical and theoretical aspects of firefighting, Mr King said those in the program “also complete units that are useful in all walks of life such as communications and team building”.
Volunteer firefighters can join the program in its entirety or in part if they belong to a rural brigade and wish to complete Certificate II Public Safety (Firefighting Operations).
This year’s group commented, “Thank you for your leadership, the program has not only helped us to grow professionally but inspired us to reach new heights.”
Anyone who has turned 16 by mid-February 2024 and is interested in joining the program should register their interest with Graham King.
Applicants need an application to enrol as a junior member of a local RFB.
All equipment, training materials and clothing is supplied at no cost to the individual.
Anyone interested in joining the Certificate II Public Safety (Firefighting Operations) program as part of their school studies or as a volunteer firefighter should contact Graham King at firstname.lastname@example.org