Look out fires ... smiling assassin will get you

THE WOMAN dubbed the smiling assassin in Tasmanian sporting circles was one of five new trainees inducted into the Launceston Fire Brigade yesterday.

Former female road cycling specialist Laura McCaughey has ditched her lycras in favour of hi-visibility structural turnout clothing to take on the role. 

After years focusing on achieving personal sporting successes, Ms McCaughey said it was time to help others and give something back to the community.

She is hoping years of gruelling cycling training will hold her in good stead in her new career.

``I've had to do a lot of training drills through cycling for years and years,'' Ms McCaughey said.

``You know that you do your drills so when you actually have to perform, you rely on your training, it all kicks in. I hope I can apply what I learnt there to this new challenge.''

Ms McCaughey said after a tough training program, she was itching to start work this Friday. 

``I'm looking forward to being part of a tight team environment and getting to put into practice what we've been learning for the past 15 weeks,'' she said.

The five new trainees are part of a group of 16 new starters across Tasmania this week.

In just under four months' training, they have been shown how to administer first aid and tackle structural urban fires, bushfires, HAZMAT jobs and road crash rescue incidents.

Leading firefighter Charlie Watson's message to the new starters at their induction was simple.

``Don't stand back and let others do the work -  the more you put in, the more you'll get out,'' he said.

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