The men and women who risk their lives to save ours

Gary McKay
AUD $35.00
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A behind-the-scenes look at the dangerous world of firefighting.

At 12.32 a.m. on Friday 23 June 2000, the Childers auxiliary brigade received a 000 call saying that the Palace Backpacker Hostel at 72 Churchill Street was on fire . . . The first truck pulled up in front of the hostel five minutes after the fire call was sent. It was a dramatic scene. Occupants were streaming out of the burning building, and the Childers crew were facing a big fire with limited resources.

Firefighters takes an unflinching look at what it means to do the highly dangerous job of saving lives from fire. It is drawn from interviews with over 50 firefighters-from the new recruit on the station house floor to the area director managing thousands of hectares of regional Queensland. Together, the firies recount their personal experiences, including the rigorous recruit training and selection program, the demanding rescue of motor accident victims, and the extinguishing of house and building fires-caused by arsonists, gas explosions or simply the careless dropping of a cigarette.

Often dealing with the traumatic losses of lives, homes and worldly possessions, these men and women face peril on a daily basis. This book tells of the professionalism, courage and dedication of the firefighters who place their lives on the line every time the alarm bell rings.


Allen + Unwin will donate $1 to the Christmas 2001 Bushfire Appeal Fund for every copy of Firefighters sold.

Author bio:

Gary McKay is a professional writer and his books include the bestselling Tracy and In Good Company. At the age of 20, Gary confronted his first bush fire as a recently-drafted Australian Army solider. He then spent the next 30 years in the Army and served as a platoon commander in South Viet Nam, where he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry.

To research this book, Gary attended a twelve-week firefighting training course and then went on shift with the firies from Brisbane to Cairns and watched first-hand as the firefighters tackled house and car fires and extricated motor vehicle accident victims from wrecked cars. He interviewed over 50 firies for their accounts of the highs and lows of this demanding and dangerous job.

Category: History
ISBN: 9781865086538
Table Of Contents: Preface

1 The firies

2 Recruit training

3 On the job

4 The auxiliaries

5 The rural fire service

6 Firefighting

7 Rescue

8 A day in the Life of an urban firefighter

9 The regionals

10 Childers

11 Oops!

12 Courage under fire

Appendix 1: The Enemy

Appendix 2: QFRS Regions


Notes and sources

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: February 2002
Page Extent: 216
Format: Paperback - C format
Age: 0 - 0
Subject: Australasian & Pacific history