COMMUNITY MINDED: Grafton firefighters (from left) Col Drayton, Chris Rumpf, Will Boyd, Gavin White want to find new recruits for the fire service. Photo: Adam Hourigan
COMMUNITY MINDED: Grafton firefighters (from left) Col Drayton, Chris Rumpf, Will Boyd, Gavin White want to find new recruits for the fire service. Photo: Adam Hourigan

Call goes out for more volunteer firefighters

WHEN full-time Grafton firefighter Col Drayton joined Fire and Rescue NSW more than 20 years ago, he was following in the footsteps of his older brother.

"I could see the camaraderie of people working in a team and that really appealed to me," Mr Drayton said.

"And the fact that I was doing something really good for the community."

Years later Mr Drayton is still passionate about what he does and he's encouraging active, community-minded men and women in the Clarence Valley to consider becoming a retained firefighter too.

Fire and Rescue NSW is actively recruiting in the area, and while part-time retained firefighters are being sought across the region, Mr Drayton says one of the key areas of focus is Maclean.

"We're always looking for people to maintain a safe level," he said.

"We're hoping to find people who live or work in town - if they can make themselves available."

But he said Grafton, South Grafton and Yamba were also on the radar.

Individuals who take on the role will be paid to attend emergency call-outs, as well as a small retainer.

"Why would anyone want to do it?" Mr Drayton asks.

"Because they have a community spirit ... and many the skills they will learn on the job within the first couple of months can be used outside firefighting."

Those skills include first aid and resuscitation, a truck driver's licence, training in the use of breathing apparatus, and confined space fire fighting.

Mr Drayton asks anyone interested in becoming a part-time retained fire-fighter to visit www.fire.nsw .gov.au, phone the Grafton station on 6643 3491, or drop in to any Clarence Valley fire station for a chat.

An open night has been planned for Monday, October 14 at 6.30pm in the Grafton fire station on Prince St.



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