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CFA hand-in-hand with farm life
Carolyn Barrie’s passion for the Elaine Fire Brigade runs deep in her veins.
***Carolyn Barrie is a CFA volunteer who is being profiled as part of a special series ‘Celebrating CFA Women’ in recognition of International Women’s Day on 8 March***
Part of growing up on a farm is being a member of a brigade. She says it goes hand-in-hand with the farming life.
“We would be on the back of a truck helping dad with roadside burns every summer,” she recalls of the early days, “Or burning off stubble on the farm.”
The Elaine Fire Brigade was a common interest which Carolyn shared with late husband Viv.
It was a hobby which spanned over 30 years.
“He played a number of roles, and I enjoyed being a part of that and supporting him,” she said.
“He was Elaine Fire Brigade captain for 12 years and then the Buninyong Communications Officer, and although he held the title, it took two to do that, and we enjoyed doing it together.”
It was Carolyn’s skills as a nurse, working in emergency situations that helped her succeed in fire emergency incidents. Her background in health management and local government has allowed her to bring a broad range of skills to CFA.
The brigade was also been a strong support network during Viv’s illness, and after he died in 2012.
“CFA has played a very important part in our lives,” she said.
“We always thought a community is only as good as those who participate.”
Carolyn was Secretary and Treasurer of the Elaine Brigade for some years and is a Junior Leader and on the District 15 Championship Committee. She has been crew leader at campaign fires including at the Grampians last year and at Kilmore last summer drove a truck on a night shift.
She has been sent out to the north-east to be part of an IMT in Mansfield and Bright.
With ESTA now being the communications agency, Carolyn is able to get back on a truck.
“Some challenges of small rural areas, we haven’t got many young people coming through. And I often joke you shouldn’t have old ladies getting on a truck,” she says.
Carolyn, CEO of Uniting Care in Ballarat, will be a guest speaker at the District 15 International Women’s Day recognition and networking event on Thursday.
If there are great women in your brigade you’d like to recognise this Women’s Day, we’d love to hear about them in the posts section below this story. Read more stories and watch a video from last year’s Celebrating CFA Women series here.
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