Giving back to the community, making new friends and helping people in need are what drives three of the region’s newest firefighters.
Jesse McLennan, Chris Peterson and Inspector Mark Doble were among graduating auxiliary firefighters at a ceremony in Beaudesert in late June after eight days of intensive training.
The three locals graduated alongside others from Lowood, Gatton, Kilcoy and Amity Point.
For Ms McLennan, who moved to Beaudesert in February this year, it was about getting back into doing what she loves.
“I was an auxiliary firefighter for nine years previously at stations around Tara and Chinchilla and took a break for study and to have a baby, but I missed it and came back,” she said.
“I’ve always done emergency services – I was an honorary ambulance officer to start with, SES and rural firefighters and working with the Red Cross.
“To me personally to be a firefighter brings all those skills together and you can put those skills back into your community.”
First time firefighter Mr Peterson, who moved here from Sydney in November last year, joined to get involved.
“A position came up at Kooralbyn and I thought, ‘why not give it a go and help out the community?’ I think it’s about being a good role model for younger people coming up, supporting the community and it’s another way of meeting people, making friends.”
Long-time local volunteer firefighter Inspector Doble started with Birnam Rural Fire Service in 2007 and is also a Queensland Fire and Emergency Services staff member, helping develop the curriculum for Rural Fire Service volunteers in training.
Inspector Doble, who recently received a prestigious Australian Fire Service Medal for his devotion, professionalism and commitment, said becoming an auxiliary firefighter was satisfying.
“It was a long and intense week of training but there’s a sense of satisfaction for us all to get to the end of the week and know we’ve graduated,” he said.
“Being a firefighter is a privileged position to be able to help people in need.”