Rachel and Richard Lewis are both firefighters for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
Rachel and Richard Lewis are both firefighters for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. John Mccutcheon

Firefighters now chasing recruits who can stand the heat

AFTER 10 years of firefighting, Richard Lewis will tell you it's one of the greatest jobs on the planet, but don't expect women to throw themselves at you.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has embarked on a new condensed style of recruitment drive which ends on December 20.

In the past the QFES had a continuous recruitment system that could drag the application process out for years.

Now with the defined application system, it hopes to process potential firies within a few months and give candidates the power to follow their application status.

Richard previously worked in hospitals in exercise rehabilitation and said the QFES encouraged diversity when considering future employees.

"Life experience is certainly a quality we're looking for, but it can be anyone from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and any culture," he said.

"Male or female, as long as you bring something to the table and have a passion for serving the community.

"If you're someone who really wants to become a part of a team and have strong camaraderie then you're ideal."

Richard's camaraderie stems further than just mateship - his wife Rachel is also a firefighter, but he'll tell you that women don't fall for the man in uniform vibe.

"It's a myth," he joked.

"She didn't care, I had no luck in that department.

"She saw straight through it."

Richard and Rachel applied for the job at the same time, but Rachel missed out before finally landing her job.

Richard said she was a perfect example of why failed applicants should never give up.

"Don't get disheartened. Sometimes it takes three times for firies to get in and they're the best I've worked with," he said.

"You wonder how they didn't get it first time.

"She really loves it and it's just applicable to women as it is to men.

"Women bring just as much, if not more in some cases to the table than men do."


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