An outstanding commitment to our state's emergency services

Caleb volunteer profile - hero

While some children dream about becoming an AFL player or zookeeper when they grow up, Caleb always knew he wanted to work in the emergency services.

Caleb has now realised his dream as a volunteer with the SA Country Fire Service (CFS) and SA State Emergency Service (SES); and a flourishing career with the SA Ambulance Service.

Having completed the ‘trifecta’ of emergency service agencies in South Australia, Caleb credits his volunteer experience with the CFS and SES as key to helping him achieve his career goal.

“I’ve always been into volunteering…I joined the SES when I turned 18, and have been in the CFS for a year,” Caleb said.

Caleb was motivated to add the CFS to his already impressive volunteer commitments because he wanted to offer additional support to the community by diversifying his skill set including advancing his firefighting skills.

“For me, it’s the satisfaction you get from helping people on their worst day… it’s really about those Aussie values of helping a mate out in a time of need,” he said.

“I enjoy the camaraderie, and the training opportunities to build our skills so we can respond at a moment’s notice,” he said.

After just one year, his firefighting skills have already been tested on the front line.

“Recently, we responded to a third alarm bushfire started by a ride-on lawn mower.

“I was at the end of the hose and our crew managed to knock down the flames with the help of Air Support, which meant we were able to stop it from heading towards a nearby house.”

It is this training and front-line experience that Caleb says is highly beneficial and equips people with the skills to deal with stressful, emotive situations – something he encounters frequently working throughout the emergency services.

Working and volunteering in the emergency services involves a “level of resilience, generosity and empathy” Caleb explains, but not as much time as many people are led to believe.

“A lot of people think they don’t have the time, but as a volunteer you can pick your hours, you’re not necessarily on a roster. If you're available and in the area and can respond, that’s great,” he said.

With CFS, “you just need to commit to most training nights and a few call outs.

“On average, I spend about four hours a week volunteering with the CFS — that includes three hours of training, and one to two hours of call outs.

“It’s very doable,” he said.

18 May 2023