CANADIAN visitor Ty Davis is comfortable with the firefighting but has found the Australian slang a little challenging since he arrived in the Bathurst district.
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He is one of five international recruits who have been welcomed by Forestry Corporation of NSW for its 2022 Bathurst seasonal program to lend a hand leading into the bushfire danger period.
Four of the five have made the 17-hour flight from Canada to Australia, while the fifth is from New Zealand.
"Aussie slang is definitely a thing and it's taken a little while to decode," Mr Davis said.
"Once we got past that, though, the experience has been really great and it's been awesome working with the Sunny Corner depot team."
Forestry Corporation of NSW says the seasonal program is an opportunity for the recruits to extend their firefighting experience in a new country.
During the Canadian summer, Mr Davis works with Alberta Wildfire on a seven-month contract, meaning he could travel to Australia and work in Forestry Corporation's seasonal program in the Canadian winter.
"I heard a couple of the guys I work with mention Forestry Corporation's seasonal program and how great it is, plus I always wanted to travel to Australia," Mr Davis said.
"So I applied and eight days later I was in Bathurst. It's been fantastic meeting my team and experiencing the Australian culture. Canadians have a reputation for being super nice, but Aussies definitely deserve this, too."
IN NEWS AROUND BATHURST:
Fellow Canadian Krista Lagasse also travelled to join Forestry Corporation's seasonal program and is based in Orange.
"Everyone has been super helpful and willing to help us settle in," Ms Lagasse said.
"I work as a firefighter in Alberta and Ontario back home, so this has been a great opportunity to travel the world and do the job I love at the same time."
Forestry Corporation of NSW says Mr Davis and Ms Lagasse highlight the variety of staff working in the organisation's seasonal firefighting program.
Fire and stewardship supervisor Dave Anderson said most staff are locally recruited to extend Forestry Corporation's firefighting capacity in bushfire season.
"Our seasonal workforce is a valued and essential part of our firefighting capacity," he said.
He said the four Canadian seasonal firefighters recently had their first experience of a eucalypt fire in a hazard reduction burn in Sunny Corner State Forest.
"We work hard to build a diverse and skilled seasonal team - people like Ty, Krista, Jess [Wojdylo] and Brandon [Allen] are an essential part of our defence against bushfires," he said.
Forestry Corporation is responsible for preventing and managing fires in two million hectares of state forests across NSW.
It also assists with large bushfires on private property and other bushland in Australia and also overseas.
The organisation recruits its seasonal firefighting force in early spring each year. To find out more, visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au.
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