Colby on Being a Firefighter

Djadjawurung Land (Carisbrook, Victoria)
Fire Rescue Victoria 

I hope to make someone’s worst day a little better

Journey to becoming a firefighter

I finished year 12 in 2016 and started an electrical apprenticeship straight away, although the early mornings and climbing through roofs weren’t really attractive, I continued until 2019 when I was eligible to apply for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (now Fire Rescue Victoria). I knew this was what I wanted to do from a young age – I used to follow my Dad to the fire station and indulged  in endless episodes of ‘Fireman Sam’. From the age of 16 I volunteered at my local CFA brigade, which I believe helped me secure a job. 

My application to the fire brigade was quite a rigorous endeavour. First I had to apply online, and then I went through a series of aptitude and psychological assessments, interviews, and physical tests. Once successful, I completed a 20 week recruit course, and then completed on the job training.

Working in the industry 

Currently I am based in the western and north western suburbs of Melbourne. I have a broad scope of duties such as responding to emergencies (fires, car accidents, EMR, hazmat incidents), helping with  community engagement activities and completing station admin duties. Each day is exciting and I love the diversity that comes with the job, I take pride in my role of making someone’s worst day a little better.

Growing up rurally

I have so many great memories from growing up in the country and I think it gave me a well-rounded perspective which helped me on my journey. I loved growing up rurally and appreciated the close knit community atmosphere. I still choose to spend my spare time outside of the city.

I am still involved in community activities  in the town where I grew up, coaching junior football at the local football club, and volunteering my time at the Carisbrook fire brigade.

A day in the life

As I still live in Carisbrook, on a day shift I wake up at 4:20am and drive to Melbourne where I then stay for the next 4 days. We rotate through night and day shifts and when we aren’t at jobs we spend our time doing admin, stocking the truck and station, completing operational training and a range of community engagement activities. At any time of the night or day, we have 90 seconds to respond to an emergency, so these activities are frequently interrupted. On day shifts we work 8am – 6pm, after which I head to my accommodation to get a decent sleep before the next day. Nightshift commences at 6pm and we work until 8am.

More Inspiring Rural Stories