Explaining safety rules to new Aussies at Coffs Harbour Fire Station are Dave Valentine (front) and Nat LaMacchia (rear).
Explaining safety rules to new Aussies at Coffs Harbour Fire Station are Dave Valentine (front) and Nat LaMacchia (rear). Leigh Jensen

Coffs 'fireies' and new Aussies forge bonds of friendship

OFFICERS at Coffs Harbour Fire Station are providing a welcoming face to new citizens by helping migrant families protect themselves from potential disaster.

Staff are holding open days and regular instruction courses to show how the Aussies take care of fire safety and Station Officer Nat La Macchia said plenty of folks are responding.

"Coming into winter there are always special dangers and we help the migrants look out for them and understand the risks that can happen," he said.

"For some of the people there are problems where English is not their first language but we usually manage to communicate fairly well.

"Also, a few of them come from countries where somebody in a uniform is seen as a threat.

"However, we're a pretty friendly bunch here and they soon get used to us.

"It doesn't take long to break the ice.

"We think it's a very important function to help migrants settle into the community and become an important part of our city."



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