Macarthur firefighter supports new recruitment drive

ON THE GO: St Andrews Fire and Rescue's Hewon Parry says firies need to be prepared for anything each day. Picture: Chris Lane
ON THE GO: St Andrews Fire and Rescue's Hewon Parry says firies need to be prepared for anything each day. Picture: Chris Lane

Many boys and girls grow up with a dream of one day fighting fires.

St Andrews firefighter Hewon Parry was not one of these children.

Mr Parry said he “kind of fell into firefighting” in his early 20s and decided to undertake the necessary training.

“I didn’t know a lot about firefighting then but I had a go at firefighting and stuck with it,” he said.

More than two decades later, the St Andrews Fire and Rescue NSW firie said he couldn’t love his job more.

"I get up every day and know I'm helping the community," he said.

“I have been based all over the state in the past 20 years and joined the St Andrews crew about four years ago.

“I like being able to work together with a small team and we have great camaraderie here at St Andrews.”

Mr Parry is a supporter of FRNSW’s latest recruitment drive, More than Fire, which launched on Monday.

The campaign aims to highlight the various tasks that FRNSW crew members undertake each day, from hazardous material clean-ups through to animal rescues.

Mr Parry said firefighters needed to be prepared for anything.

“Fighting fires is such a minor part of what we do,” he said. 

“We go to things like motor vehicle accidents and chemical spills – we even rescued a rabbit that was stuck in a rock last weekend.

"You never know what you're going to do each day."

St Andrews firefighter Hewon Parry. Picture: Chris Lane

St Andrews firefighter Hewon Parry. Picture: Chris Lane

However, the veteran firefighter said you needed to be well prepared and remain calm when fighting a fire.

“It’s just doing your job [when confronted by a fire],” Mr Parry said.

“You go through the training steps and you need to stay calm, but also be able to move quickly.

"It's good to know there are other firefighters around you working together on one goal.”

Thousands of men and women are expected to apply for FRNSW positions before applications close on November 19.

Mr Parry encouraged any locals interested in firefighting to consider applying.

“I urge people to have a go because you might like it,” he said.

“Firefighting is not a job, it’s a career. I can count on one hand how many people I know that have left firefighting early.”

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said More than Fire was designed to attract a large pool of candidates for full-time and on-call firefighting positions.

“The campaign is about honouring our firefighters, their personalities, their differences and the reason each of them became a firefighter,” he said.

“We want to inspire others to apply for a diverse, challenging and rewarding career with us.”

For more details, visit the Fire and Rescue NSW website.