FAMILY and friends of 33 new firefighters yesterday witnessed in a fire drill what their sons and daughters will go through when trying to save lives in an emergency.
The new recruits are probation firefighters after eight weeks of intensive training learning how to save lives and properties from a fire.
Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities permanent secretary Commander Francis Kean said what the recruits learnt during the eight weeks of training was crucial in their chosen career paths.
"The firefighting service is an important agency in our country," Mr Kean said in his address at the graduation ceremony held at the Fiji Naval Base in Togalevu.
"You are in the business of protecting properties and saving lives.
"A firefighting career is one of service. With service comes sacrifice, commitment and diligence."
He challenged the fire officers to go an extra mile.
"I encourage you, the 30 graduates, this afternoon to be consistent in your effort to uphold the ethos and values of the National Fire Authority.
"The contribution of the National Fire Authority towards our national economic prosperity is invaluable."
The 30 graduates were selected from about 600 applicants who applied for the position of trainee firefighters.
Mr Kean also reminded the fire officers, who were on probation, of their roles as the authority's role had expanded from traditional fire fighting capacity to a more encompassing emergency service provider.