Firefighters: The Men and Women Who Risk Their Lives to Save Ours

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Allen & Unwin, Feb 1, 2002 - Reference - 216 pages
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At 12.32 a.m. on Friday 23 June 2000, the Childers auxiliary brigade received a 000 call saying that the Palace Backpacker Hostel at 72 Churchill Street was on fire . . . The first truck pulled up in front of the hostel five minutes after the fire call was sent. It was a dramatic scene. Occupants were streaming out of the burning building, and the Childers crew were facing a big fire with limited resources.

Firefighters takes an unflinching look at what it means to do the highly dangerous job of saving lives from fire. It is drawn from interviews with over 50 firefighters-from the new recruit on the station house floor to the area director managing thousands of hectares of regional Queensland. Together, the firies recount their personal experiences, including the rigorous recruit training and selection program, the demanding rescue of motor accident victims, and the extinguishing of house and building fires-caused by arsonists, gas explosions or simply the careless dropping of a cigarette.

Often dealing with the traumatic losses of lives, homes and worldly possessions, these men and women face peril on a daily basis. This book tells of the professionalism, courage and dedication of the firefighters who place their lives on the line every time the alarm bell rings.

CHRISTMAS 2001 BUSHFIRE APPEAL FUND

Allen + Unwin will donate $1 to the Christmas 2001 Bushfire Appeal Fund for every copy of Firefighters sold.
 

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Contents

CHAPTER 1 THE FIRIES
1
CHAPTER 2 RECRUIT TRAINING
12
CHAPTER 3 ON THE JOB
37
CHAPTER 4 THE AUXILIARIES
57
CHAPTER 5 THE RURAL FIRE SERVICE
71
CHAPTER 6 FIREFIGHTING
80
CHAPTER 7 RESCUE
98
CHAPTER 8 A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN URBAN FIREFIGHTER
117
CHAPTER 11 OOPS
155
CHAPTER 12 COURAGE UNDER FIRE
161
APPENDIX 1 THE ENEMY
175
APPENDIX 2 QFRS REGIONS
187
GLOSSARY
188
NOTES AND SOURCES
193
INDEX
199
Back cover
207

CHAPTER 9 THE REGIONALS
130
CHAPTER 10 CHILDERS
145

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About the author (2002)

Gary McKay is a professional writer and his books include the bestselling Tracy and In Good Company. At the age of 20, Gary confronted his first bush fire as a recently-drafted Australian Army solider. He then spent the next 30 years in the Army and served as a platoon commander in South Viet Nam, where he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry.

To research this book, Gary attended a twelve-week firefighting training course and then went on shift with the firies from Brisbane to Cairns and watched first-hand as the firefighters tackled house and car fires and extricated motor vehicle accident victims from wrecked cars. He interviewed over 50 firies for their accounts of the highs and lows of this demanding and dangerous job.

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