Moree Fire Station has this week welcomed a new firefighter to its ranks.
Father of four Robert O'Brien joined the crew in Moree on Monday, after graduating from the Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Emergency Services Academy at Orchard Hills on Friday, May 17.
Mr O'Brien was a retained firefighter in Glen Innes, however decided to take the step to becoming a full-time firie and applied for a position in Moree.
"I always enjoyed being a retained firefighter and serving the community, so it seemed a logical step," he said.
The former mechanic said being a firefighter was something he'd always dreamed of.
"Everybody wants to drive around in a big red truck," he laughed.
"It's every little boy's dream."
Mr O'Brien was part of the second class of firefighters to graduate from the new Academy, having successfully completed 13 weeks of training.
"These recruits have shown they have the diverse skills, capabilities and talents required to undertake the varied work that our firefighters do - from educating the community about fire safety and providing emergency medical care to responding to fires, natural disasters and hazmat incidents," FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said as he congratulated the new recruits during Friday's graduation ceremony.
"They've been trained to be prepared for anything and I know they will uphold the high standards of integrity, courage and professionalism expected of a FRNSW firefighter."
Mr O'Brien is now looking forward to serving the Moree community in his new role, which he started on Monday, May 20.
"Becoming an integral part in the community, and being able to give back to that community is what I enjoy most about being a firefighter," he said.
"I'm looking forward to value adding to the service already provided here. There are lots of good community safety profects being run by Fire and Rescue NSW, focused on educating the young and elderly."
Moree station officer Scott Beers welcomed Mr O'Brien to the team.
"I'm sure he'll make a valuable contribution," he said.
"He is undertaking a permanent career that has a lot of challenges but is also very fulfilling. All firefighters here come from a retained background, so it's great to see they've transitioned to a full-time career. It's a great career path and we wish Rob all the best."
Mr O'Brien is one of four permanent firefighters at the Moree station, along one permanent officer (Mr Beers), a retained captain and up to 18 retained staff.