Merimbula’s newest firefighter fit for the job

Merimbula Fire and Rescue has welcomed its youngest member Harrison Peters to the team.

The 20-year-old Merimbula local is eager to get cracking into the job after recently completing his training at Fire and Rescue NSW’s Alexandria Training College in Sydney.

Mr Peters said the lengthy application process was well worth the wait, as he has finally fallen into a job which ticked all the boxes.

Fired up: Merimbula Fire and Rescue's Harrison Peters finishing his Hazmat training in Sydney.

Fired up: Merimbula Fire and Rescue's Harrison Peters finishing his Hazmat training in Sydney.

“I was looking for direction in what to do, something physical but helping the community at the same time,” he said.

“Someone mentioned the job to me which fitted the criteria of what I was looking for. I did a bit of research and then found out I like this kind of work and wanted to give it a crack.”

Once Mr Peters passed the interview process and the physical and medical examinations he attended training for 10 days in Sydney which he said “was awesome”.

“It was awesome, I got to meet a heap of wanna be firies just like me,” he laughed.

“It was also challenging and not easy work, I found out there is a lot more to the job.

“Just because I got in, doesn’t mean I have finished learning.

Hazmat training in action.

Hazmat training in action.

“There is so much stuff, the more call-outs I attend and the more time I spend with the knowledgeable crew at the station who have a lot of life experience – the more I will learn,” Mr Peters said.

Mr Peters said the job is not all about “rescuing cats up trees”.

“Although we have rescued a few kittens and birds, there is so much more the job.

“I am looking forward to being involved in the community, being a role model for younger kids and doing my job the best I can.”

Mr Peters plans to stick around Merimbula to learn as much as he can before transferring to the big smoke in search of a full-time position.

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Duty Commander Alan Gerrard said on-call firefighting positions are still open at Bega, Merimbula and Eden stations. 

“The roles on offer are not permanent but as an ‘on-call’ firefighter previously known as a retained firefighter.

“It is not to get confused with the permanent positions, as there is no guarantee that this can lead to a full-time role,” he said.

“It will give you the opportunity to see what being a firefighter is like before making that step to apply for permanent role when it is advertised.”

On-call firefighters receive a fortnightly retainer of $70 and an hourly rate of $30 when responding to a call-out or undergoing training.

“We are mostly looking for people with daytime availability Monday to Friday,” Mr Gerrard said.