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Meet Senior Firefighter Sharnte Butler

Senior Firefighter Sharnte Butler says the best thing about being a firefighter is that no day is the same.

“Every minute is different, you never know what you’re going to get,” she said. 

“You’ll start the day doing a shift meeting. Then you’ll move along to make sure the trucks are ready for the day.

“Our core work is going to incidents and in between that we might have to go to a building inspection or we could be going to a fire education visit in a school. There’s also a lot of training.

Sharnte first joined Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) as an auxiliary firefighter in 2013 in Bribie Island, where she grew up.

In 2018 she became a permanent firefighter and was posted to Maryborough where she remains today.

“I had always wanted to be a firefighter as a child,” she said.

“I enjoy helping people and want to give back to the community.

“I’m also a very active person and a bit of an adrenaline junkie so the stories I heard about it pushed me down this path.

Sharnte said another good thing about being a firefighter was problem solving and camaraderie.

“When you go to incidents you have to use problem solving skills and work together with teammates to achieve goals,” she said.

“I’m very close with my colleagues.

“When you’re going into a burning building with someone you need to trust that person with your life. The incidents we go to help build strong relationships because people tend to come together in stressful situations.

Sharnte also enjoys being an active member of her community.

Two years ago she began organising a community event with her colleagues and other community groups to help raise awareness and funds for Movember.

“Being a firefighter allows you to be part of the community,” she said.

“Members of the public look to you on their worst days so they respect and trust in us.” 

Sharnte encouraged those who are thinking about becoming a firefighter to use the QFES guides to help with the physical and aptitude tests.

“I failed the first physical assessment during training so I went away and bettered myself and I passed it a second time around. 

“The training is challenging in parts but it’s very exciting and your recruit buddies become a family and you get through it together.

“Keep pushing on and believing in yourself, no matter what others say.”

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a firefighter, QFES is currently taking applications. Click here for more information or to apply now click here.