Wiradjuri man Shaun Coyle has decided to make a career out of firefighting after six-and-a-half years on-call in the Orana region.
Mr Coyle initially joined Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) on encouragement from another brigade member while working in juvenile justice.
His decision to sign up meant following in the footsteps of his father, who was an on-call firefighter in Moree in the early 1990s.
Mr Coyle began at Delroy 280 station before transferring to Dubbo 280 station in early 2016.
His contribution has been immense, helping bolster FRNSW's connection with the local community and forming lifelong friendships with colleagues.
Mr Coyle admits that balancing the need to be available day and night with family and other work had been at times challenging, but always rewarding.
During his time with FRNSW, he has attended many incidents and gained valuable knowledge which will assist his transition to full time firefighting in Sydney.
Mr Coyle has long had a goal of becoming a permanent firefighter, but applied numerous times without success.
Refusing to give up, he recently took part in the Indigenous Fire and Rescue Employment Strategy (IFARES) partnership program between TAFE NSW and FRNSW.
IFARES offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a pathway into the agency, offering industry insights and skills development over a six-month period.
Mr Coyle's participation has seen him complete a Certificate III in fitness, engage with firefighters and mentors within FRNSW and ultimately land his dream job.
He believes this has set a positive example for his own children and extended family - that they too can achieve their goals through hard work and having the right attitude. He also hopes his story will inspire other Indigenous people to take up a career with FRNSW.
Now Mr Coyle is looking forward to starting at the Emergency Services Academy where he will complete his 14 weeks of training.
After graduating, he will be stationed in Sydney and will work in specialist sections of FRNSW including Rescue, HAZMAT, Fire Safety and Community Engagement before returning to Dubbo later in his career.
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