Darwin’s John Koukouvas, 38, is ecstatic after taking out top honours in Airservices Australia’s Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Service (ARFFS) 98th Recruit Course.
John was one of 24 exceptional, new aviation rescue fire fighters to proudly don the official ARFFS uniform at the recent Recruit Course 98 (RC98) graduation ceremony at Airservices’ Melbourne training academy. The recruits will now begin their careers at stations located at 27 of Australia’s busiest airports.
A concreter by trade, and armed with a degree in exercise physiology, John blitzed ARFFS’ gruelling 15-week recruit course. Now, he’s been honoured with the prestigious Silver Axe Award – Most Outstanding Recruit.
“It’s a bit surreal to win,” John said. “It’s fantastic!
“It’s really nice to have my hard efforts recognised. It’s been a really challenging course, but I’ve loved every second of it. I also want to pay credit to the awesome RC98 recruit team – it was far from just a solo effort.
“I’m so happy to finally join the service at my hometown of Darwin – I’ve always wanted to join ARFFS. It’s a dream come true.”
Airservices currently employs more than 800 aviation rescue fire fighters. Another 72 aviation rescue fire fighters will join the service this year and a further 72 in 2024.
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 an aircraft in trouble.
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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.