Firie lands model gig
IN HIS short four-year career, Ross Stacey hasn't only seen his fair share of bushfires, but he's already achieved what many men in his line of work never get to do - feature in a firefighters' calendar.
The former Maryvale firefighter is now "Mr May" in this year's Queensland Rural Fire Service volunteer calendar, which was sent out to all brigade volunteers in the state.
The 20-year-old laughed off suggestions he was heading down the bare-chested model path, saying he simply loved his job.
"I grew up on the land and that's what everyone does, you give your neighbours a hand," Ross said.
"It doesn't matter where you go; it's always going to be a skill."
At 11-years-old, he watched firefighting volunteers and auxiliary crews - one of them his father - control and eventually defeat the devastating 2002 Maryvale and Stanthorpe fires.
He said that planted the seed for a career in firefighting.
"Seeing the local fellas temporarily walk away from their income to help out people they may not know or areas they've never seen is a big ask but they did it without complaint," he said.
At 16, Ross became a volunteer with the Maryvale Rural Fire Brigade in 2007.
Last April, Ross moved to Toowoomba to assume a paid office position with Queensland Fire and Rescue Services rural operations as a training support officer and auxiliary firefighter.
He strongly urged others to think about volunteering their time to join a local rural fire brigade.
"There's definitely a need for volunteers, especially through the week when there's not a lot of people around," Ross said.
"We've got big jobs on at the moment and some brigades find it hard to fill seats in trucks."
The school-based training program in Warwick and Stanthorpe had been successful in recruiting younger volunteers, he said.
Meanwhile, several fellow volunteers were called out yesterday to fires that have been burning near Dalveen for several days.
A fire crossed containment lines overnight Tuesday and at the time of print, crews had brought it under control.