“It’s about coming into it with the right mindset – I think that is why I’ve got so much out of the experience,” Jason added.
One of six CFA firefighters currently on secondment, Jason has transferred as a Leading Firefighter at Greenvale, to a number of MFB stations in the northern suburbs.
This has included at Thomastown, Heidleberg, Northcote, Epping and, most recently, Bundoora.
“Being a firefighter at Greenvale has meant I’ve done a lot of work with MFB brigades from Somerton and Broadmeadows, so the secondment wasn’t a huge change of scenery,” Jason said.
“But the reason I did it was to assist in breaking down some of those barriers that can exist between the two fire services – I’m a strong believer in interoperability.”
Jason said there had been many benefits to taking part in the first CFA and MFB secondment program.
“There’s been a lot of interest in the program. I’m always getting calls from CFA members asking what it’s like, what’s involved and how they could get involved; which is great if the program continues,” he said.
Aside from a few different Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Jason said the two organisations had more in common than most people would think.
“I came into this with an open mind but a program such as this can help clear up some of those misconceptions,” he said.
“At the end of the day, the skills you need are all the same, we’re all firefighters, there’s that same camaraderie around the station and we’re all there for the same reason, the community.”
Jason said one of the most valuable experiences he’s had through the secondment had been training in Emergency Medical Response.
“I’m now fully qualified in EMR which is going to be a benefit to me here and at CFA” he said.
“EMR is now being adopted more and more in CFA which is fantastic for the community.”
MFB Bundoora Station Officer Brian Lowe shared Jason’s enthusiasm for the program.
“All of the boys at Station 14 are in favour of the program, it has worked really well here and we hope it continues into the future,” he said.
The MFB-CFA Secondment Program was announced last November by Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Peter Ryan.
To read more about MFB firefighters on secondment to CFA, click here.