Central Coast pro surfer joins firefighting ranks

Published: 20th May 2011

Central Coast professional surfer Jess Grimwood has become a second-generation firefighter after graduating at the Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) State Training College at Alexandria today.

Firefighter Grimwood, of Bateau Bay, was among the 20 recruits, five of whom are women, who graduated from the challenging 12-week FRNSW training course.

"My family have been my greatest supporters in everything I have done, from competing on the prosurfing circuit to applying for a job with FRNSW," she said.

"I have always wanted to be a part of FRNSW to help the community and work in a strong team environment.

"My father and uncle are firefighters so I knew it was a career that could offer what I was looking for.

I'm especially looking forward to getting more operational experience under my belt and working with the aerial, or high-rise, firefighting appliances."

Firefighter Grimwood will be stationed at FRNSW's busiest fire station, City of Sydney.

Her father, FRNSW Station Officer Andrew Grimwood, of Bateau Bay, said he couldn’t be more proud of his daughter.

"Jess has grown up with firefighting around her," he said. "We have spent a lot of time together travelling to surfing competitions over the years, so I guess something must have rubbed off on her."

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said this was the first FRNSW graduation class of 2011 and he was pleased to see evidence more women were considering a career in fire and rescue.

"Part of the job's appeal is that it offers incredible diversity every day," he said.

"Fire and rescue officers not only save people from burning buildings and road accidents but also have expertise ranging from fire investigation to educating and providing advice to the community on fire safety."

Commissioner Mullins said the graduates had been trained in firefighting, road accident rescue, advanced first aid and resuscitation, community safety education, fire technology and hazardous
materials management.

Today's graduation ceremony also saw two Central Coast fire and rescue officers recognised for their diligent long service. The Entrance Station Captain Jason Knauer was awarded a National Medal and Gosford Station Officer Peter Jentsch was presented with a second clasp to the National Medal.

The National Medal is awarded to personnel with 15 years’ service and clasps are awarded for every additional 10-year period.