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Meet the 50yo father following in his daughter's firefighting footsteps

A group of firefighters standing a semi-circle.
The recruits were chosen from 7,000 applicants.

ABC News: Avani Dias

It's not often a father follows in the footsteps of his daughter.

But after running a cafe in Sydney for 20 years, Robert Attanasio decided to take on a new career as a firefighter, inspired by his daughter's work in the force.

"My daughter is my inspiration. She's a firefighter and I'm very proud of her," he said.

Father and daughter stand side by side in uniform.
Robert Attansio, 50, graduating as a firefighter next to his senior, his daughter Claudia Attanasio, 23.

ABC News: Avani Dias

Mr Attanasio, 50, was one of 22 recruits to graduate this month as firefighters in New South Wales.

His 23-year-old daughter Claudia has been firefighting for three years and her enthusiasm for the career prompted his change.

"It's exciting, it's different, you don't hear about it every day and this is letting him do something that he's wanted to do for a while," she said.

Graduate Aimie Cronin is also joining the family trade following her husband who has been a firefighter for 20 years.

She is bucking the trend — in NSW, just 5 per cent of firefighters are women and the statistics are similar in other states.

Men and women in a training exercise in the bush.
Aimie Cronin (top) training as a firefighter medic.

Supplied: Aimie Cronin

Ms Cronin said the process was challenging.

After battling about 7,000 people just to get into the training program, the recruits then have to go through months of mental and physical training.

"It's wonderful getting amongst the guys and doing exactly what they're doing … better than them," she said.

The graduates, who will be deployed to brigades across NSW, encouraged others to throw their hats in the ring.

"I just want to make my daughter proud," graduate Chris Cassidy said.

"I'm excited to get out there, it's very relieving after the three months of training but I'm just keen to get out there."

A man standing in front of fire engine.
Chris Cassidy is one of 22 graduating NSW firefighters.

ABC News: Avani Dias