By Claire Ottaviano
BEING a career firefighter is about more than just fighting fires, says Lesmurdie resident and Trainee Firefighter School graduate Jordan Woodhams.
He and 22 other graduates will now deploy to stations in Perth and Kalgoorlie after completing 21 weeks of intense practical and theoretical training.
The 29-year-old, who will complete his first placements at Midland and Maddington Fire Stations, said 10 years in the army helped him prepare for his new career path.
“It certainly was a big career change,” he said.
“I had to learn to be a lot more operationally focused – in the army you’re constantly training for that big thing that never comes but as a firefighter you’re attending incidents everyday.
“It wasn’t so much the physical skills that were transferable but the mental skills and qualities that army requires you to develop like coping with stress and being able to learn and knowing how to learn in a classroom setting.”
The training school also instructed cadets on marine and aviation fire response, HAZMAT, road crash rescue and structural firefighting.
Being posted to Midland and Maddington stations offered Mr Woodhams more opportunities to help those closer to home than other location postings would.
“For me [becoming a firefighter] was a lot about the people in car accidents and how I can help them,” he said.
“The fringe stations like Midland and Maddington get a lot more road crash rescue type jobs because there are more highways and long haul truckers.
“I will get to help the people who are going to be nearby to me in my life and my proximity.”
More than 1000 people applied for the highly competitive program.
Three other graduates will also serve in the eastern and hills region.
Forrestfield resident and fire and rescue and SES volunteer Valerie Allan will join the team at Belmont Fire Station, Darlington’s Christian Batty will relocate to Kalgoorlie Fire Station and Monique Escudier will join Midland and Ellenbrook Fire Stations.