Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Recruit Firefighter Course Graduation Ceremony
Minister Ryan; Ms Joan Pease MP; Acting Commissioner Wassing; senior representatives of all service organisations and our Defence Forces; ladies and gentlemen; our recruits and their very proud families and friends.
It is Kaye’s and my great pleasure to be with you this morning. Every child, I think, at some point wants to be a firefighter when they grow up, and I confirm that Governors are no different.
I at once acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, expressing respect for the Elders, past and present.
In 1908, some 58 years after formation of Queensland’s first voluntary brigade, one of my predecessors, our tenth Governor, Lord Chelmsford, opened the new Headquarters of the Brisbane Metropolitan Fire Brigade.
All that remains of those premises on Wickham Terrace, near the corner of Ann and Wharf streets, is a plaque at Cathedral Square marking its location.
At the time, Lord Chelmsford congratulated the City on possessing a brigade and station second to none in the Commonwealth.
Lord Chelmsford would be proud – and astonished! – were he here to learn of the immensely beneficial transformation of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade into today’s highly sophisticated and dynamic state-wide Service.
In 1908, Brisbane had just welcomed its seventh horse to its fleet of fire engines.
Today, there are over 240 Queensland Fire and Emergency Service stations across Queensland, with state of the art equipment, including infrared cameras and body motion sensors.
In 1908, training was rudimentary. Nowadays, in order to graduate, these 23 recruits in front of us have undertaken 78 days of intensive training, here, at we proudly claim to be most advanced training facility in the Southern Hemisphere.
These recruits, too, have a much greater role than their predecessors. It is not all about dashing into burning buildings. They will be called upon to conduct swift water rescues, road crash rescues, hazardous materials management, and to help communities in need, whatever that need may be.
What Lord Chelmsford would recognise in today’s recruits, were he here, are the personal qualities – courage in the face of danger, cool-headedness in the face of crisis, an unwavering dedication to serving one’s community – which denote members of this noble profession as exceptional.
To our recruits, today you become part of a robust organisation with a rich history of service, and which now encompasses some 45,000 paid and volunteer workers across our State.
You proudly take your place alongside members of the Queensland Police Service, the Queensland Ambulance Service and the Australian Defence Force at the front line of protecting Queenslanders.
I thank you for your dedication and commitment to the people of Queensland. Kaye and I wish you every success as you commence your careers with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.