Meet our Career Firefighters

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Meet our Career Firefighters

Stu Filo, Senior Firefighter

My first recollection of wanting to be a firefighter is from when I was a young kid. I would see firefighters turn up in our neighbourhood to put out fires. At primary school, I attended class trips to the local fire station and, while at college, I went to the same station for work experience. That’s pretty much where it started for me.

After a long military career, I returned home and worked as a youth worker, but still wanted to pursue my childhood dream to be a firefighter. When I first applied, I didn't make it past the second step of the recruitment process. Instead, I joined as a volunteer and worked hard to train for next round - which I passed!

Everything about being a firefighter is rewarding. Each day is different, we respond to a range of emergencies, educate youth on fire safety and regularly upskill. It doesn't feel like a job, it's a passion.

 

Nikky Matuschka, Firefighter

At the age of seventeen, I left school and entered the workforce as a hairdresser. I completed my apprenticeship but my dream was to have a physical career.

I joined the New Zealand Police and served for seven years. This included three years on the front line responding to 111 calls and four years as a Detective. Day to day, I was motivated most by the positive, helpful role I played within my community. These same things is what led me to apply for a Career Firefighter role at Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

As a recruit, the 12-week training course was rewarding. With support from the trainers and my peers, I overcame the physical and mental obstacles. I also left having made lifelong friendships. Training doesn't stop there; we get regular opportunities to upskill after graduating.

I’m proud to be part of a trusted emergency service that lets me contribute and give back to my community. Each day, I’m excited because I work alongside positive, motivated and like-minded people.

 

Daly Meiklejohn, Qualified Firefighter

I was living the 9 to 5 office life working in the finance and business management field and wasn’t getting a great deal of job satisfaction. I tried working overseas for a year and was playing semi-professional rugby but still wanted more. I wanted a career that was rewarding, something hands on and physical. Firefighting ticks the boxes. 

For me, the most rewarding part of the job is the day to day interaction we have with the public, whether it be installing a fire alarm as part of a Home Fire Safety Visit, rescuing an animal or waving to a group of preschoolers from the truck.

I never thought shift work would be for me but I love it. We’re a tight team because we work and live together as a crew every four days and then have the flexibility to make time for friends and family on our days off.