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Julie Smith

from Lifeguard to Station Officer
I am a Station Officer with the Queensland Fire Department
Industry
Defence and Public Safety
Company
Queensland Fire Department (QFD)
Job Level
Mid
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Ask me about

  • The most exciting part of my job
  • The hours I work
  • The career paths available within the fire service

About me

When I was in primary school, I had my heart set on becoming a fighter pilot with the Australian Air Force. This dream influenced the subjects I chose at high school and upon completion of year 12 I was still considering this path. When the time came to decide, I was hesitant to leave home for the Defence Force Academy in Canberra and instead chose to stay on the Gold Coast and study engineering which is very closely related to navigation and flying.

A few years into engineering, as I learnt more about the profession, I found the courage to change my path and pursue a trade – a job that would find me outdoors more often whilst still providing challenge and variety. I completed my apprenticeship in Electrotechnology and worked with Energex as a high voltage fitter mechanic.

A few years on, I discovered the role of firefighter. It had a great work life balance, similar field of work – problem solving and very practical and dynamic work. I chose to explore this career and have not looked back.

About my role

  • Analytical
  • Confident
  • Decisive
  • Disciplined
  • Logical

Station Officers within the fire service manage Fire and Emergency Incidents. We respond to a wide range of emergencies including structure fires, road traffic crashes, hazardous materials incidents and technical rescues. Fire personnel work closely with other emergency services like Rural Fire Brigade, SES, Police and Ambulance to keep the community safe in times of need. No two days are the same and fire officers are always ready with a wide range of capabilities and technology we can employ to assist.

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Education

  • Cert V Electrotechnology Electrical Fitter/Electrical Mechanic
  • Cert IV Trainer and Assessor
  • Cert IV Public Safety

Subjects

  • Chemistry
  • English
  • Industrial Technology
  • Mathematical Methods (Maths B)
  • Physics
  • Specialist Mathematics (Maths C)

Hobbies

  • Camping
  • Gym
  • Running
  • Surfing
  • Travel

Pets

  • 1 Dog

My career journey

Curious to know how I got here? Here’s a snapshot of my career pathway.
  1. Chose high school subjects that prepared me for a range of industries
  2. Studied engineering when I left school
  3. Changed course and pursued a trade
  4. Completed my apprenticeship
  5. Discovered firefighting

My employer

Queensland Fire Department (QFD) 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.