Fiona Powles is a Forest Fire Management Victoria’s (FFMVic) Forest and Fire Operations Officers (FFOO) who started her career as a seasonal Project Firefighter (PFF).

Fiona, currently based out of FFMVic’s Benalla Depot, started her career as a PFF with Parks Victoria in Wangaratta before getting a full-time role as a FFOO.

“I was looking for work after 12 months of travelling and saw PFF jobs advertised. I applied and was lucky enough to get on for that summer and ended up staying for three and a half seasons,” she said.

“I found the work I was doing as a PFF really rewarding and wanted to do it full time.

“Since becoming a FFOO I haven’t looked back!”

Fiona said she appreciated the amount of training offered by FFMVic.

“I come from a farming background which I think helps with some aspects of the job but other than that I didn’t have any other experience,” she said.

“FFMVic has given me the opportunity to further my skill set through a wide range of training and on the job mentoring.

“I have been trained as a General Firefighter, learned four-wheel driving and First Aid, received Red tanker and Unimog accreditation, been taught chainsaw operation (trim and crosscut, basic faller), D4 Dozer operation, and became a Crew Leader.”

Like all jobs, being a FFOO comes with it challenges.

“The job can be physically demanding,” Fiona said.

“However, I enjoy the challenge as it’s a great motivator to keep fit and healthy.”

Fiona feels that applying for a PFF position is a great way to start a career path with FFMVic.

“Apply for a PFF position to see if you are suited for the work,” she said.

“Do some research into what we do here at FFMVic; even visit one of our work centres and talk to one of the crew about the work we do and what to expect.

“Also having a look on the FFMVic website will help give you an understanding of the organisation before applying.”

FFMVic is currently recruiting for various FFOO roles across Victoria. To find out more and where roles are available, visit Firefighting and employment.

Page last updated: 23/07/21