New firefighters are off to a flying start

READY FOR TAKE-OFF: Alan Lerpiniere, Jono Cooper, Greg Hunt and Steve McCarthy of the Airservices aviation rescue firefighting services.
READY FOR TAKE-OFF: Alan Lerpiniere, Jono Cooper, Greg Hunt and Steve McCarthy of the Airservices aviation rescue firefighting services. Luka Kauzlaric

FROM the top of Mt Larcom to the bottom of Briffney Creek, these guys are learning the lay of the land in Gladstone.

Alan Lerpiniere, Jono Cooper, Greg Hunt and Steve McCarthy are here to call Gladstone home for as little as two months (Alan) to indefinitely if that's what the jobs requires (Greg).

The men are part of Gladstone Airport's new aviation fire services unit, on site to ensure the safety of travellers.

Mr Hunt, who is head of the new station, moved here with his wife Kerry.

"I come from Rocky originally so I sort of know Gladstone," he said.

Mr Hunt was based in the Cairns airport fire station for the past 25 years, but said there were many opportunities with four new stations built across Australia this year.

Mr Cooper and Mr McCarthy came over from Perth for a two-year stint at the station, and both have settled their families at Tannum Sands.

Mr Cooper's wife Katey is looking after six-month-old Brody, and the family have already visited Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy.

"It's been good, I'm enjoying it here," he said. "We're from Western Australia so it's all new to us."

Mr McCarthy and his wife Kim came over with their sons, Jamie, 8, and Adam, 3.

"I have a background in mining in WA, so I had a good idea of what the town would be like," he said.

"It's nice to have the benefit of the beach at Tannum."

He said he had plans for plenty of family time fishing and boating.

"It gives the kids somewhere else, and we've come with an open mind - we might never leave."

Topics:  airservices australia, firefighters, gladstone airport, welcome wednesday

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