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Ladies lead influx of 16 firefighters

Ipswich welcomes 16 new firefighters to the region including two new female recruits Lisa Nayler (front) and Kim Small.
Ipswich welcomes 16 new firefighters to the region including two new female recruits Lisa Nayler (front) and Kim Small. David Nielsen

THE arrival of 16 new firefighting recruits will put Ipswich ahead of any shortfall in emergency services responses as the population continues to grow.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey welcomed the recruits, who will be split among the region's fire stations until the construction of Ripley and Brassall are complete.

Along with the additional firefighters and stations, Ipswich will receive a new $650,000 fire truck to be stationed at Brassall.

It is expected Ripley Fire Station will be complete in the coming weeks and Brassall shortly after.

The unveiling of new stations will see the closure of the Ipswich station.

Mr Dempsey said in 2010-11 Ipswich firefighters responded to 900 emergency situations, a figure which fell to 770 the following year.

But he said the rise in staff was to cover an increase in emergency situations as the population grows.

"Ipswich is a growing corridor and we have to be ahead of where we want to be with all the emergency services," he said.

Among the new recruits are Lisa Nayler and Kim Small, the two women adding to the rising number of female recruits in the fire and rescue service.

FIRED UP: Minister for Police and Community Safety Jack Dempsey (front row, second from left) welcomes 16 new firefighters to the Ipswich region.
FIRED UP: Minister for Police and Community Safety Jack Dempsey (front row, second from left) welcomes 16 new firefighters to the Ipswich region. David Nielsen

Mr Dempsey said the cliché of ripped fireman coming to the rescue of the community was shifting.

"They bring a great deal of common sense, camaraderie and team work. They are joining the force in record numbers."

For Ms Naylor, her arrival at Ipswich station ends a three-year journey to becoming a firefighter.

She had no fears in entering the male-dominated profession or the physical nature of the job.

"It was something to think about but I've always got involved with the boys and with my surf life saving background," she said.

"The training behind it is not always about strength, it's about reading the conditions."

Ipswich MP Ian Berry said he was thrilled to have the officers starting their careers in Ipswich.

"Our community has faced some of its toughest challenges over

the past few years and the QFRS has been instrumental in helping the region get back on its feet," he said.

Ipswich West MP Sean Choat said two new stations will significantly improve day-to-day working conditions and allow officers to continue providing quality services to the community.

Ipswich welcomes 16 new firefighters to the region including two new female recruits Lisa Nayler (front) and Kim Small. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
Ipswich welcomes 16 new firefighters to the region including two new female recruits Lisa Nayler (front) and Kim Small. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times David Nielsen

Topics:  brassall fire station, firefighters, jack dempsey, kim small, lisa nayler, ripley fire station


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