Next generation of aviation fire fighters enter service

22 Nov 2013

Airservices welcomed 24 new aviation rescue fire fighters into service during a graduation ceremony held at the Airservices Learning Academy at Melbourne Airport on Friday 22 November.

The graduating recruits join more than 740 fire fighters at the nation’s busiest airports as part of Airservices Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) service.

Aviation Fire Fighter Reuben O’Toole from Mackay in Queensland was presented with the Silver Axe Award for the most outstanding recruit of the course, and will now join the ARFF service in Mackay.

Airservices Executive General Manager ARFF, Michelle Bennetts, said the new recruits will work at stations in Brisbane, Broome, Cairns, Darwin, Mackay and Perth.

“Airservices has one of the largest, most highly trained, professional aviation rescue and fire-fighting services in the world,” Ms Bennetts said.

“Our fire fighters have the expertise to provide Australian airports and airline passengers with first-rate rescue and fire fighting services.”

The recruits completed a physically and mentally demanding 11-week training course at Airservices Learning Academy in Melbourne. Theoretical and practical training undertaken included fighting simulated aircraft and structural fires, aviation rescue techniques and dealing with the hazards of highly flammable aviation fuels.

Airservices Acting General Manager Learning Academy, Max Bice, congratulated the graduates on successfully completing the demanding training course.

“Over the last four years we have trained and developed more than 200 new fire fighters and are now realising the significant benefits we expected of the `true to life’ hot fire training facility in Melbourne, which we opened in mid April.”

The 24 graduating recruits come from a diverse range of backgrounds and include two Indigenous Australians.