The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Southern Tablelands Zone welcomed 23 new volunteer firefighters on the weekend of March 30-31.
The recruits underwent two full days of theoretical and practical training and assessment during the Basic Firefighting (BF) training to qualify to respond to a range of emergencies, including bush and grass fires with their brigade and crew leaders.
The qualified volunteer firefighters will support rural fire brigades across the local area including Bowning, Sutton, Murrumbateman, Yass Support, Kangiara, Tallong, Binalong, Back Creek, Bookham, Gundaroo and Goodhope.
Two of the new recruits had turned 16 in February, the age at which volunteers can complete the BF training.
Joel Doble, from the Sutton Rural Fire Brigade, joined the RFS 12 months ago on his brigade's junior program.
He was very excited to take the next step in his RFS career: "It was an awesome weekend. I gained lots of new skills and made many new friends."
Joshua Porter, who also recently turned 16, joined the Tallong Rural Fire Brigade eight months ago. He said he had a great time on the course.
Fourteen volunteer trainers also gave up their weekend to conduct the BF training.
To become a member of the RFS, visit rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer. The next BF is on September 14-15 in Yass.
Another successful volunteer firefighter from the weekend and a member of the Kangiara Rural Fire Brigade, Henry Miller, said the best thing to do on the BF training is "to ask lots of questions."