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Emily Walsh

from Biomedical Science to First Class Firefighter
I am part of a crew who attend emergencies of all types including life rescue, chemical incidents and fires.
Defence and Public Safety
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES)
Job Level
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Ask me about

  • Why I stepped away from Biomedical Science
  • Working in Real Estate and the transferrable skills
  • The skills you must possess to be a Firefighter

About me

As a teenager I always had an interest in the field of medicine and sports. When I finished high school I went to University to pursue a degree in Biomedical Science. I did that for a couple of years and then I stepped away to complete a Diploma in Remedial Massage while I was competing in Surf Rowing.

During this time I applied for a job with QAS (Queensland Ambulance) and was not successful. My dad suggested I apply to become a Firefighter. Initially I wasn’t interested but I applied as a backup plan. My application was successful and so I went on to do my fitness, physical aptitude and theory testing. 

While waiting for the call to become a Firefighter, I was working in Real Estate, then I found my way into working for a large insurance company where I progressed to become a manager for 10 advisors. I worked there for a couple of years when I received the call to get my paperwork ready and get prepared for intake to QFES. Once I had my interview I was accepted, and within a short period of time I was on a live-in recruit course to be a Firefighter and ‘the rest is history’. 

At the time of my intake there were less than 2% females in the Operational Fire Service. I have now been in the job for 8 years and during that time I have been married and now have 2 little girls who are 3 ½ and 1.

About my role

  • Confident
  • Humorous
  • Independent
  • Logical
  • Practical

To be a Firefighter you must successfully complete training in vertical rescue, confined space rescue, firefighting, road crash rescue, swift water rescue, hazardous materials, pump operation and truck driving under emergency turn out.

All Firefighters have the same level of training but can go on and do specialist training in various fields. The role of a Firefighter is to protect and serve the community by responding to any of the previously mentioned scenarios. It it also the responsibility of Fire and Rescue personnel to educate the community in fire prevention and improve safety and emergency preparedness.

Firefighters must maintain their training and be operationally prepared at all times while on shift to ensure the fastest and most effective outcome for the community.

Students Book Here Educators Book Here


  • Year 12 Certificate
  • Cert IV and Diploma Remedial Massage
  • Cert III Public Safety (Firefighting and Emergency Operations)


  • Mathematical Methods (Maths B)
  • Physical Education


  • Year 11 Leadership program (Mentor)
  • Gold Medal In QLD State Title Surf Rowing
  • INBA Figure International and Physique (Body Building)


  • Beach adventures
  • Gardening
  • Gym
  • Swimming
  • Travel


  • 1 Dog

15 year old me!!

“Allow the world to see who you are - by doing. Don’t be guided or distracted by what society thinks you should do. Be brave and true to yourself.”

My career journey

Curious to know how I got here? Here’s a snapshot of my career pathway.
  1. Finished school and soon after went to University
  2. Worked in clubs and was Surf Rower with SLSA
  3. Took time off uni to complete Diploma in Remedial Massage
  4. Worked in Real Estate while trying to find my feet
  5. Was an insurance advisor while waiting for application for QFES

My employer

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is the primary provider of fire and rescue, emergency management, and disaster mitigation programs and services throughout Queensland. They deliver this through our Fire and Rescue Service (FRS), Rural Fire Service (RFS) and State Emergency Service (SES).  As part of the Queensland Government, we are committed to building a diverse workforce that represents the community we serve.