Aspiring firefighter Ethan Waters stands in between Nelson Station firefighters Mark Shearer and Geena Gross ahead of his first practice at the fire service’s physical pre-entry fitness assessment. Photo: Erin Bradnock.

Fire and Emergency hopefuls put through their paces


The local fire brigade had its largest turnout yet at Sunday’s recruitment open day.

“It’s great to see – this is the fourth open day, and this is the best turn out we’ve had,” says senior station officer Rob Appleton.

The open day is part of the recruitment process to fill two firefighter positions available at Nelson Fire Station.

About 30 eager attendees met at the station on Gloucester St to understand the work, recruitment process and have a crack at the ‘physical pre-entry assessment’.

The test includes hose drags, ladder extensions, weighted stair climbs and a 90kg dummy drag for 30 metres.

Participants have to complete the circuit in 8 minutes 15 seconds to qualify.

Ethan Waters was one of the would-be firefighters at the open day.

“They just seem like a great bunch of people here,” says Ethan.

Ethan works in forestry and says it’s the vital community work of the fire and emergency service that led him to the open day.

Rob stresses they’re “not looking for robots” at the local brigade and that empathy is a must in recruits – alongside mental strength, motivation and fitness, Above all else, Rob says they are also looking for team players.