There are twelve new firefighters in the Northern Territory this week after Recruit Squad 2/2012 graduated on Thursday November 1st.
Chief Fire Officer Steve Rothwell welcomed the new recruits into the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service in front of dignitaries including the Chief Minister Terry Mills, Commissioner of Police and CEO of Fire and Emergency Services John McRoberts, a who’s who of NTFRS Members and proud family of the graduates at the ceremony held at the Darwin Fire Station.
Ten of the recruits will join watches around Darwin while two will head to Alice Springs to become Firefighters there.
Station Officer David Lines paid tribute to all twelve recruits saying he had rarely seen such a dedicated group.
“From the start they showed they wanted to do everything asked of them, they got on very well socially, helped each other out with both the physical and theory side and had a very keen approach to the training.”
The course was also the first to contain two female recruits.
“We don’t look at male, female, we look at firefighter and how they work as part of the team. They both did very well and they will be excellent firefighters.” Station Officer Lines said.
For Recruit Anna Stephan the course was everything she thought it would be.
“It was the best sixteen weeks ever.” She said at the completion of the ceremony.
“This was the third time I have applied and I am just so happy I got in this time. The crew were excellent, we bonded straight away and we were constantly helping each other throughout the training. For me, standing here today it is just so rewarding and this is only the recruit stage. I am looking forward to going out now and putting it all into practice.”
Anna Stephan was so determined to make it this time her efforts earned her the Most Dedicated Student trophy. She will be joining Recruit Bobby Ghotb in Alice Springs.
Simon Haughton, who was awarded the ‘Silver Axe’ for being named the Most Outstanding Recruit, said the sixteen weeks were very intense but were made easier by having such a great bunch to work with.
“Not only the recruits but the dedicated instructors and the whole training and development team. It has just been mind-blowing.
“We are at the end of our recruit training but this is just the start of our career, we have been given the basic skills and now we need to go out and do what we need to.
“We don’t want people to have accidents or for things to catch fire but that’s what we train for and that’s what we do.” Recruit Haughton said.
Recruit Bradley Rayson was recognised with the Fitness Award.
Station Officer David Lines said that the graduates were now Recruit Firefighters for their first year on the job. They will, he said, spend the first year learning to become better firefighters.
Station Officer Lines also paid tribute to Station Officer Brett Holmes who is leaving the NTFRS for a job in Queensland.
“Brett was instrumental in the development and delivery of the Smart Sparks, Choices and Junior Fire Intervention Awareness programs and was also the inaugural winner of the Eric Simmons Award for being the 2011 Firefighter of the year.
“He is a 12 year veteran with the NTFRS, an excellent trainer, instructor and Firefighter. He will be sorely missed.”