FIRE-FIGHTING is among the most sought-after occupations, says Bonnyrigg station officer Wayne Rush.
Consequently, getting a foot in the door is like winning the lottery.
I can say after recently and literally spending a day in the boots of a firefighter at Bonnyrigg Fire Station — it is also one of the toughest.
One of our tasks was learning to extinguish a fire using different hosing techniques. The hoses range in length and width, and are used in different fire-fighting scenarios.
Some are suitable for house and factory fires and one is used for bushfires.
Watch a video the experience, shot by Luke Fuda, below:
After learning how to reel out and pack up hoses it was time for some action.
We changed into our gear and jumped onto the truck.
As we arrived at our destination, a factory fire, an overwhelming feeling of excitement rushed through me.
We hooked up the hoses quickly and began to apply the various spraying techniques we'd learnt.
It took three people to hold and steady the hoses, as the water pressure blasted from the nozzle.
The task was exhausting with the weight and force of the water.
That job completed there was no time for rest as the crew was called to a mock motor vehicle accident.
The object here was to "rescue" a trapped "driver" (a dummy) using power tools including spreaders to cut through the metal of the car's body.
These tools were very heavy and powerful enough to break through the doors and hinges of the car.
Watch our video interview with Mr Rush, shot by Luke Fuda, below:
Such experiences highlighted to me the essential qualities needed to be a firefighter: hard work, skill, working as a team, mental and physical acuity and sacrifice.
There's more to being a firefigher than is at first apparent.
Apart from fighting fires and rescue operations, the crew also bunks together and there's a strong sense of mateship and camaraderie among them.
Fire-fighting is hard yakka and I have great respect for the work these people do.
Thank you for all the lives you have saved. I'm honoured to have spent some time in your company.
See the video online: fairfieldchampion.com.au.