Townsville’s Rhys Siganto, 29, is top of his class, recently winning the much-coveted Silver Axe Award – Most Outstanding Recruit, from Airservices Australia’s Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) service 99th Recruit Course.
However, Rhys humbly credits others with his success. He was one of 22 exceptional, new aviation rescue fire fighters to proudly don the official ARFF uniform at the recent course graduation ceremony at Airservices’ Melbourne ARFF Training Academy. All recruits have now kickstarted their careers at nine ARFF stations across the country, at some of Australia’s busiest airports.
“Thanks to the ARFF instructors’ wealth of knowledge, and my peers’ camaraderie and exceptional teamwork, I was able to perform at my best,” he said.
“During the gruelling 15-week course, I discovered a love of working as part of a team. My goals are now to finish my Cert III studies (at station), get my Cert IV, and one day return to Airservices’ Melbourne ARFF Training Academy – teaching really appeals to me.”
Rhys, a former crane operator, urges anyone curious about pursuing a career as an aviation rescue fire fighter to take the plunge – no aviation background is necessary.
“I joined ARFF to gain a better work-life balance and to give back to the community,” he said.
“I absolutely loved the incredibly challenging, but rewarding training.
“Not having any emergency services background myself, I was initially not really sure if I’d fit into the industry, but this award win means I’m on the right track.
“Airservices’ values are remarkably close to my personal values. You’ve got to have accountability and love what you do every day. You’re there to serve the community.”
Airservices employs more than 800 aviation rescue fire fighters. An additional 48 aviation rescue fire fighters, across two upcoming recruit courses, will join the service in 2024.
ARFF 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 an aircraft in trouble. For more details, visit here.
Pic credit: Michael Abulencia
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.