Cameron’s saving lives on – and off – the job by raising funds for charity.
Here, Cameron, 31, tells the story in his own words.
￼I watched my mum Chris dish up some spaghetti into a lunch box, then she grabbed her bag and keys.
Excited, I rushed out to the car with her.
My dad Rick was a police officer and we were taking him his dinner. I was three and our local police and fire stations were housed in the same building, so it was every little boy’s dream. As soon as Mum unbuckled me, I ran for the fire trucks.
‘Cam, come over here and you can sit in the police car,’ Dad called. But it was no use. Even then, I knew I was going to be a fireman.
My grandmother, Dorothy, even made me a fireman’s suit that I wore everywhere!
Aged 25, I applied to the NSW Fire Brigade, and after a year of aptitude tests, physicals and interviews, I got the call.
‘Congratulations, Cameron. I’d like to offer you a spot on our January course,’ I was told.
The training was intense, but I loved it.
On graduation day, my whole family came to watch.
Just three days later, I started at Guildford station. And a few hours into my first shift, the fire alarm rang.
This is really happening, I thought. This isn’t training anymore.
Late in 2016, we got a call at 2am to attend a job there. Here we go again, I thought.
But as soon as we turned into the street I saw smoke everywhere. Fire raged through the block, trapping 20 people inside, including kids.
The Guildford crew were already there on ladders, rescuing people out of their windows.There was a big group of people trapped in a stairwell and we couldn’t get to them.
Our only hope was to beat the fire.
After 20 minutes, we got it down enough that we could reach them.
Carrying them out, they were sent to hospital with smoke inhalation, but alive.
We just saved these people, I thought. This is why I became a fireman.
In May last year, on International Firefighter’s Day – held to thank all firefighters for their commitment, courage and selflessness – my crew and I were presented with a unit commendation by the commissioner.
Not long after that, my friend Ryan joked I should try out for the Australian firefighters calendar.
Featuring the sexiest firefighters, it raises funds for animal and kids’ charities all over the country. ‘No way,’ I laughed.
While I was fit and healthy, I was skinny. But it was for such a great cause, I ended up changing my mind.
When I got accepted, I didn’t tell anyone. But the secret soon got out.
‘Look everyone, it’s Mr July!’ one of the boys whistled when I walked into the station one day. I got a lot of ribbing but it was all good-natured.
I was just pleased to have raised some money for charity.
After that, I did it again last year and we’ve just shot the 2019 calendar.
We headed to Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast for photos with the animals. Life doesn’t get much better than this! I laughed, when a meerkat ran onto my head.
The next day we did another shoot with rescue animals from local shelters.
Our intention is to find loving homes for these animals and financially support the organisations looking after them.
When the photos with kittens were posted on Facebook, they went viral!
Now, for the first time ever, they’re planning an international firefighters calendar. They’re calling for 11 of the sexiest, fittest firemen from around the world to join the hottest Aussie firefighter.I’ll definitely be applying!
So far, the Australian firefighters calendar has donated more than $2.8 million dollars to charities around Australia. I hope everyone will support the charities and buy a calendar.They make great Christmas presents!
To buy a calendar, go to australianfirefighterscalendar.com/buy-online
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