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Group photo of awardees in Apia, Samoa

Samoa firefighters upskill with APTC and FRV training

Jun 10, 2024

Seventy-four staff members of the Samoa Fire and Emergency Services Authority (SFESA) are poised to elevate their careers and personal growth after completing a series of accredited short courses from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC).

The staff members, including 24 women, completed accredited short courses in Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN); Work, Health and Safety in Construction; First Aid; Professional Women in Plumbing; Professional Women in Construction; Communicate and Work in Health or Community Services; and Provide Service to Customers.

Another highlight of the event was the presentation of certificates to participants who undertook the Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) accredited short course that was delivered by Australia’s Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) in collaboration with APTC and SFESA. 

The HAZMAT training program tailored to Samoan standards and developed by FRV in collaboration with SFESA, has already been submitted to the Samoa Qualifications Authority for recognition. To meet SQA requirements, two awardees will also attend the full HAZMAT course in Melbourne, Australia, to become qualified trainers to deliver SFESA-HAZMAT training in Samoa.

In her opening address, Deputy Australian High Commissioner, Ms Claire McGeechan urged the graduates to apply their new skills and knowledge in their workplace.

She expressed admiration for the 24 women, recognising their role in breaking gender barriers in male-dominated industries.

“To all the awardees, your dedication and hard work are truly commendable,” she said.

“To the female graduates, I applaud your dedication and leadership. Your inspiration to women who are considering joining the fire and emergency services sector is truly commendable. I eagerly anticipate an increase in female participation in these sectors, which will greatly contribute to a more inclusive society.

“The Samoan and Australian governments will continue to work in close collaboration to ensure that education remains a key driver of Samoa’s economic prosperity, alleviating hardship for all,” Ms McGeechan added.

In his concluding remarks, SFESA Commissioner, Tanuvasa Petone Mauga highlighted the importance of APTC and FRV courses and training in enhancing SFESA’s skills development efforts.

He emphasised that the knowledge gained would significantly enrich the Authority’s workforce.

“At SFESA, our dedication to staff development is unwavering. This commitment extends beyond enhancing individual skills; it is about fortifying our organisation and enhancing the services we render to our stakeholders and the general public,” he said.

Ms Maauga Urima, an award recipient who underwent training on Professional Women in Construction, expressed her appreciation for the opportunity provided by APTC.

“This training has not only enhanced my skills in construction, but it has also opened my eyes to the vast possibilities within the industry,” she said.

“I feel prepared and excited about my role within SFESA. The knowledge I have gained is invaluable, and I can’t wait to apply it in real-world scenarios. I want to use my experience to inspire and educate others, showing them that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible,” Ms Urima added.

APTC and SFESA have been working in partnership to provide high-quality training programs that enhance the skills and capabilities of SFESA staff. This partnership, established in July 2023, underscores a shared commitment to professional development, productivity, emergency response, and service delivery in Samoa.

APTC is an Australian Government initiative in partnership with the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

APTC is implemented by TAFE Queensland (RTO 0275)

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