Jake Trengrove recently graduated from the ‘Fire and Rescue NSW Emergency Academy’ in Sydney, where his favourite part was live fire training.
“What we call the ‘hot cells’ was an awesome experience,” said Jake.
“You’re put in situations with live fire, makeshift scenarios and your task, as if it’s an actual incident that you would attend as a permanent firefighter
“And it really prepares you for the real thing.”
Jake was “born and bred” in Broken Hill and started as an on-call, or retained, firefighter at Broken Hill South Station, called Station 239.
“It changed the way I saw aspects of life and I learnt life skills that I will never forget,” he said.
More on-call firefighters are needed in Broken Hill and Jake has advice for anyone thinking of joining.
“I’d definitely tell them to give it a go,” he said.
Jake was an on-call firefighter for approximately 18 months before he had the opportunity to join as a permanent firefighter at Station 238, which is in Blende Street.
”I’ve loved every minute of it since,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity that I’m so grateful I took and now I would never do something else.”
All of Broken Hill’s fire crews are a “really good bunch,” according to Jake.
“Your crew becomes your family, eventually,” he said.
“You’re brought into it. It’s a family.
“You’re with them 24 hours a day, a couple of days a week so you’ve got to have their back and they’ve got to have your back.”
Firefighters are supported through the challenging aspects of the work, according to Jake.
“If we are struggling or we have a rough trot, if we have that one bad call, you’ve got your crew, you’ve got all the support services that are there to help us and to help us get through,” he said.
As a firefighter, Jake has really enjoyed the sense of accomplishment and being able to give back to the people in the community.
To be able to be there and try and make things run smoothly for them, make things better, that was one reason why I decided to go full-time in the role,” he said.
“We’re a bit of support for someone on their worst day, at times.”