New recruit ready to help community

New recruit: Mitchell Nisbet at Cabramatta fire station. This is the third FRNSW graduation in 2019 with another ceremony scheduled for later
in the year. Picture: Chris Lane
New recruit: Mitchell Nisbet at Cabramatta fire station. This is the third FRNSW graduation in 2019 with another ceremony scheduled for later in the year. Picture: Chris Lane

Meet Mitchell Nisbet - the qualified sparkie who wants to make sure no sparks fly in Fairfield.

The 36-year-old was one of 16 new firefighters that graduated from the Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Emergency Services Academy last month.

The qualified electrician said he was "proud as punch" to pull on the uniform and join Cabramatta FRNSW.

The Champion caught up with the former substation technician during his third shift on the front line after three months of intense training at the academy.

"I've wanted to be a firefighter for a long time; since I was a kid. I'm still pinching myself when I'm driving down the road... I think to myself 'I can't believe I'm sitting here'. It's exciting," he said.

"I'm looking forward to helping the community and using my training to help in any situation."

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said the new recruits have shown they have the "diverse skills, capabilities and talents" required to undertake the varied work that our firefighters do.

"From educating the community about fire safety and providing emergency medical care to responding to natural disasters and rescue incidents," Mr Baxter said.

Mr Nisbet, who was a volunteer at Dapto Rural Fire Service for 13 years, said the "sometimes stressful" application process has helped him for prepare for life as a firie which has so far been "pretty quiet" consisting of a couple of responses to automated fire alarms.

Busby and Cabramatta crews were recently called to a unit fire in Liverpool involving a gas barbecue. Picture: Fire and Rescue NSW Station 031 Busby

Busby and Cabramatta crews were recently called to a unit fire in Liverpool involving a gas barbecue. Picture: Fire and Rescue NSW Station 031 Busby

Mr Nisbet and the rest of the Cabramatta crew are working hard to educate the community about fire safety in the lead-up to summer.

Station officer Ryan Timus said they have identified a number of homes without a working smoke detector during home safety visits.

"Early detection save lives making smoke detectors vital," he said.

"Also the use of LPG gas bottles indoors is another big problem especially in this area because it's a common method for Vietnamese cooking.

"LPG is such a volatile gas and when used in confined areas is dangerous. They must be used in a well-ventilated area."

Mr Timus said there were several safety tips residents can take to reduce the fire danger in their homes.

These include:

  • Before using a barbecue always check connections that they are tight and have no leaks.
  • Have a clear area when cooking barbecues, because if it does catch fire and there are combustible materials nearby, you are literally adding fuel to the fire.
  • Keep looking when cooking. Don't put food on the stove and walk away.
  • Have a fire safety pan.
The Fire Service Division of the Royal Bhutan Police with their new gear.

The Fire Service Division of the Royal Bhutan Police with their new gear.

Meanwhile, Cabramatta firefighter Tom Wilson's dedication to "help a fellow group of firefighters in the protection of their community" led to the delivery of a large quantity of de-commissioned Fire and Rescue NSW firefighting uniforms to the Fire Service Division of the Royal Bhutan Police recently.

Mr Wilson developed the idea after making contact with the local fire service whilst travelling through Bhutan for university studies.

The delivery to Thimtpu in Bhutan consisted of 60 structural uniforms and Community Fire Unit packs which included bush fire coats and pants, gloves, helmets, boots, shirts and caps.