Beaudesert firefighter Andrew Clarke’s passion for mentoring the next generation of emergency services has earned him nomination in the 2022 QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards.
Mr Clarke is the Local Cadet Coordinator at the PCYC Emergency Services Cadets Unit in Beaudesert.
The development program, designed for local 12 to 17-year-olds interested in pursuing a career in emergency services, includes fire and rescue drills, visits to the local police station, highway patrols and first aid.
The Beaudesert PCYC Emergency Cadets Unit officially started training in March after some pandemic setbacks.
Mr Clarke has rallied the support of the public, local businesses and agencies and shown dedication to the training and developing the young cadets, inspiring the next generation of local emergency service workers.
He said it was about more than a career path for youth involved.
“We’re aiming to build life skills and resilience and leadership skills amongst the kids as well,” he said.
“I grew up here, I work here and went to the local high school so straight away I knew there’d be a benefit for the community, and when I had the option to put my hand up to help, I jumped at it.”
Mr Clarke, who has been an auxiliary firefighter in Beaudesert for five years and also has a permanent firefighter role in Ipswich, said it was overwhelming to be nominated.
“It was a bit of a shock, considering how much good stuff people are doing throughout the state as emergency services workers, and obviously Beaudesert doesn’t have the only cadet unit in the state – there are 25 units state-wide, all with local cadet leaders and coordinators,” he said.
“This nomination recognises how well the cadet program is going not just in Beaudesert but state-wide.”
The QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards recognise the hard work of frontline and public service workers.
Winners will receive $1000, plus $1000 donated to their charity of choice.
Nominations are open until 26 August at www.qbank.com.au/everydayheroes.
Finalists will be announced in early September and winners will be announced 12 October.