Firefighting role is a ‘dream come true’ for Benji
After three applications to the WA Fire and Emergency Services Academy and four months of hard work and little sleep, Donnybrook resident Benji De Jong is officially a firefighter.
Mr De Jong graduated alongside 23 of his colleagues on Friday and said the achievement “did not come easy” and required dedication over a number of years.
“It was my third time trying to get into the academy because it is fairly competitive – there were about 1500 applicants for just 24 positions,” he said.
“Even before applying, it took a couple of years getting ready to get in because the standard is high physically and mentally.
“It’s still a bit surreal – my dream has come true.”
Mr De Jong secured a place at the Success Fire Station until a position becomes available in Bunbury.
“I am looking forward to getting to work and helping my community the best I can,” he said.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said the role was not an easy one by “any stretch of the imagination” and the graduates would be required to show a “great deal of compassion and commitment”.
“Next week when these men and women step into their respective fire stations they will realise their place in fire and rescue history.”
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