Photo: Participants from the 2019 IFARES Program 

In May NCIE hosted the third annual Indigenous Fire and Rescue Employment Strategy (IFARES) camp and intensive workshop.

In partnership with the Aboriginal Learning Centre at TAFE NSW and Fire and Rescue NSW, IFARES offers a unique opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to gain a recognised qualification and an insight into FRNSW.

The two-week camp at NCIE is jam-packed with hands-on and theory-based learning. Using the NCIE field, candidates practiced simulated firefighting tasks, from hose drags, to ladder lifts. They worked in the Fitness Centre for tailored personal training sessions and theory training towards their Certificate IV in Fitness.

Carly Anderson with trainer on the NCIE field

This year the IFARES program had 19 candidates from all over NSW and ACT.  Yuin man, Ninnum Parsons is a qualified chef from south coast town Narooma, but decided he needed a change.

“Coming from a small town, I’ve never really seen an Aboriginal person on the back of a fire truck, or even in the police force. It’ll be good to get through this and get back to where I’m from and show younger boys and girls what you can do, if you just try your best.”

“It’s the best program, they show you so much, and I’ve been loving every minute of it,” said Ninnum.

Ninnum Parsons training on the NCIE field

Carly Anderson from La Perouse in Sydney was unsure about some of the realities of being a firefighter, including being first on scene for a car accident, and dealing with her fear of heights.

“This week has changed my mind massively,” she said.

“It’s amazing how much team works matters. I’m scared of heights and I had to go up an eight floor tower but a firefighter just took me up and talked me through each level.

“The way they helped me. It was so amazing.”

Carly Anderson post skills test

Both Carly Anderson and Ninnum Parsons agree it’s been a great camp and they’ve made some really good mates, and both have one thing they particularly loved about NCIE…the food!

Carly also loved the communal living adding, “I’ve loved having all our meals together and being so close, and hanging out is great.”
“The NCIE hospitality staff have been so accommodating.”

We love having the IFARES team at NCIE and we are always inspired by this hardworking mob. The two week camp is a part of six- month program designed to increase their skills and knowledge and prepare them for the FRNSW recruitment process. We wish all the candidates the best of luck.

IFARES 2019 Candidates

To find out more about the IFARES program check out the website here.