When 24 Airservices Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Service (ARFFS) recruits recently graduated from the 96th Recruit Course, one fulfilled a lifelong dream of following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather.
Third-generation aviation rescue fire fighter, Brisbane’s Ethan Kokkola, was inspired to apply to become a recruit after witnessing the joy the career had brought his family.
“The work-life balance and love for the job that both my father and grandfather experienced encouraged me to follow the same path,” Ethan said. “They both always said: ‘This is the best job in the world – it’s like a dream come true’.”
His father Eric’s favourite part of the job was the camaraderie and teamwork among the ARFFS family, which is something Ethan’s most looking forward to experiencing.
“Their stories were always filled with pride and joy and respect for the occupation. I hope to make my family proud and I aspire to one day returning to the training ground as an instructor.”
Ethan has now joined the Brisbane ARFFS team – like both his father Eric and grandfather Val before him. All 24 graduates have now been stationed across the country.
Airservices currently employs 759 aviation rescue fire fighters at 27 of Australia’s busiest airports. Another 24 new starters will join the company later this year and a further 48 in 2023.
ARFFS is the only national fire service in the country – a rapid intervention, first response service which engages within minutes of any incident, whether it be a first-aid call, fire alarm or a response to an aircraft in trouble.
Airservices Australia is responsible for the safe and efficient management of 11 per cent of the world’s airspace and the provision of aviation rescue fire fighting services at Australia’s busiest airports. We connect people with their world safely – linking family and friends, generating economic activity, creating jobs and facilitating trade and tourism.