Wannanup resident graduates as a DFES firefighter, joins Fremantle crew

Wannanup resident and eager surf life saver Michael Liitiainen traded the beach for the blaze, after graduating as a firefighter on Friday last week. 

Officially a firefighter, the Port Bouvard Surf Life Saving member will join the Fremantle fire fighting crew, where he will work with the local team keeping the community safe. 

Mr Liitiainen, a former navy sailor, decided to join the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) in a bid to go back into a full-time service role.

This time, however, he wanted to stay closer to home.

“I didn’t want go back to the navy because you have to spend time away from home,” he said.

“But I still wanted to be in service and work in the community.”

With very few positions in the force up for grabs every year, Mr Liitiainen said he was stoked to be one of this year’s graduates. 

“[It’s] awesome,” he said.

“I couldn’t be prouder.”

He said he is looking forward to working with his new team and keeping the community safe.

However, he said his ultimate goal was to join the Mandurah or Rockingham firefighting team in the future and become a senior firefighter and station officer. 

”I won’t stop trying until I get there,” he said.

Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Wayne Gregson congratulated the graduates on their new roles.

“Theirs is not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination. They will regularly see and experience things that will test their resolve,” he said.

“To be here ready to take on that challenge requires a great deal of compassion and commitment.

“Next week when these men and women step into their respective fire stations they will realise their place in fire and rescue history.”