For the very first time, women make up 50 per cent of the graduating class of Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) following changes to the highly-competitive recruitment process earlier this year. The NSW Government today welcomed 12 women and 12 men of Recruit Class 6/2016 into the ranks of FRNSW at a special ceremony at the State Training College in Alexandria today.
In his final graduation before retirement early next year, FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins welcomed the new recruits into the “best job in the world” and said he was proud to see equal numbers of men and women graduate.
“I’ve loved being a firefighter for the past 38 years and I’m confident that each of them will uphold the high standards of integrity, courage and professionalism expected of a FRNSW firefighter,” Commissioner Mullins said.
Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott congratulated the new recruits and thanked them for choosing a profession dedicated to protecting the community. “These recruits have had the opportunity to meet the outgoing Commissioner today which will certainly put them in good stead when joining their stations. Commissioner Mullins has guided the professional careers of many recruits since taking the top job in 2003,” he said.
Shayne Mallard MLC also joined Commissioner Mullins to applaud the new firefighters as they graduated today. Women have been frontline at FRNSW for more than 30 years but they represent only a small number of its permanent firefighter ranks. Last year, about 20 per cent of applicants for the 120 firefighting positions were women. Earlier this year, FRNSW made changes to the recruitment campaign to increase the number of females progressing through the recruitment stages.
All recruits have received advanced training in firefighting, road-crash rescue, advanced first aid, community risk management, fire science and hazardous materials response to help keep our communities safe.