Australian firefighter Brenden Purvis spoke with #Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos about the 30th anniversary Australian Firefighters calendar, which helps many different charities.
“I think this year they tried something a little bit different due to the 30th anniversary. There are multiple issues of it,” he said. “I have been doing the calendar for the past four or five years, so for it to hit the 30-year mark is pretty awesome.”
He has served his community as a firefighter for 15 years. Every long hot summer, unsung Australian heroes give up their time and tragically sometimes their lives to keep our rural areas safe during these unforgiving months. Before Brenden became a Royal Australian Airforce firefighter, he was a member of his local Rural Fire Brigade (RFS) from the age of 16. “‘I will be celebrating my 15th anniversary in February of next year,” he said.
“Serving in the Rural Fire Brigade with my community members inspired me to serve my country further,” Purvis said. “When I was old enough, I enlisted with the Royal Australian Air Force. Before I left for my first deployment overseas, I was also able to convince my Mum to get involved in the Wamuran Rural Fire Brigade organization too. Mum is still a serving member of the Rural Fire Brigade, far exceeding the number of years I was there. Mum’s involvement in serving our community fills me with immense pride.”
Regarding his daily motivations as a firefighter, Purvis said, “I’m a part of the Airforce as a firefighter, so for us, we have our military obligations as well. To be a part of that organization is really important. Having the opportunity to do something a little bit different in the firefighting world is really motivating, and that humbles you.”
“We have been really lucky to work with American and British firefighters as well. It’s good to see how they do it and how we do things,” he added.
On being a firefighter in the digital age, he said, “It is definitely a different world now. It makes it easier to connect with people. We are trying to work with both the airport and the civilian firefighters in order to have the best oucome.”
This past October, to help celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the Australian Firefighters Calendar, several calendar firefighters were invited to Los Angeles to appear on “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” “That was awesome,” he admitted. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t’ go but having the guys go to the United States and represent it there. It is nice to see the calendar being represented all over the world. I think the calendar is in over 100 countries. Hopefully, there will be more trips to America in the future.”
The firefighters also appeared in a series of segments on NBC’s popular “Access Hollywood,” CBS’s “Entertainment Tonight” and FOX’s “Good Morning LA.”
To repay the support that their American fans have shown, the Australian Firefighters Calendar will continue to support U.S. charities for the second year in a row.
Rescue Rebuild, a shelter renovation program of Greater Good Charities, recruits volunteers from across the U.S. to renovate animal shelters, domestic violence shelters, veterans housing, and homeless shelters. The Rescue Rebuild team has completed 175 renovations that have helped more than 3,200 people and more than 720,000 pets.
Donations from this year’s calendar help to support the Council of Australian Volunteer Fire Associations (CAVFA). The funds will be used to supply the much-needed equipment for our army of volunteer firefighters.
The Australian Firefighters calendar continues its support of the Kids With Cancer Foundation. Since 1998, the work this foundation does in supporting Australian families and hospitals around the country is nothing less than extraordinary.
The calendar will also benefit the following nonprofit organizations: Australian Seabird Rescue, Fauna Rescue of SA, Healing Hooves, Native Animal Rescue, Wildcare Inc., Safe Haven Animal Rescue, Best Friends Felines, and All Breed Canine Rescue Inc. “The charities that are involved with animals are really important to me. The more we can do for them, the better,” he said.
For young and aspiring firefighters, he said, “Definitely train hard, it can be a very physical side, and it can be mentally demanding. At the end of the day, it’s a great job and very rewarding.”
On his definition of the word success, he said, “Success for me, is being happy with what you do. Also, having a loving and supportive family and enjoying every day. Being successful is watching my baby girl grow each day.”
Purvis also took some time to answer a few “Rapid Fire” questions.
Waffles or pancakes? Pancakes
Flying or driving? Driving
City living or country living? Country living
Summer or winter? Summer
Library or museum? Museum
Bath or shower? Shower
Pepsi or Coke? Water
Texting or calling? Texting
Half-full or half-empty? Half-full
Curly fries or normal fries? Curly fries
Skydiving or scuba diving? Skydiving
Indoor pool or outdoor pool? Outdoor pool
Tea or coffee? Coffee
Rain or snow? Snow
Singing or dancing? Dancing
Burgers or tacos? Burgers
Long course or short course pool? Long course pool
Money or fame? Money
Purvis concluded about the Australian Firefighters Calendar, “We want to go in and do our best to be in the calendar. Just to make it and be a part of the calendar again is very special. It is great to hang out with the dogs and cats, and all of the different animals.”