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Female career fireys wanted
CFA is looking for fit, enthusiastic women to join the ranks of its 686 full-time, career firefighters who work shoulder to shoulder with the organisation’s 56,000 volunteers at strategic locations across Victoria.
Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said while CFA had made good progress lifting the number of women in CFA’s volunteer firefighter ranks above 20 per cent, they make up less than 5 per cent of career firefighters.
“CFA is very diverse in some ways, particularly in its volunteer base, but there is a real under-representation of women in what has traditionally been a male dominated industry. It’s an issue which we’re determined address,” he said.
He invited women considering a career in firefighting to attend a special information session at CFA Training College Bangholme on Saturday 14 June at 10am.
Mr Ferguson said being a career CFA firefighter was an incredible way to serve the community while getting paid.
“People often don’t realise that around two million Melburnians, and another 1.3 million Victorians who live in major regional centres and rural communities come under the protective umbrella of CFA,” he said.
Mr Ferguson said career staff were vital to support volunteers and keep up with the urban growth in Melbourne and regional cities.
“Since 2011, CFA has added more than 180 extra career firefighters and that is set to continue as Melbourne and Victoria’s regional cities continue to grow.”
Women fireys wanted
Tegan Fisher from CFA’s recruitment team said that the 14 June information session was for women of all ages and walks of life – whether they already had their heart set on a full time job as a firey or just wanted to look into it.
“The applicants we look for need to be physically fit, determined and practical, but most importantly have a passion for serving the community,” she said.
“It is a competitive and challenging application process but one which leads to a very satisfying career with excellent pathways and opportunities for progression.”
Firefighter Tanya Faux
Tanya Faux is typical of many career members who move into a CFA career from a sports or outdoor background, having represented Australia in the world kayaking championships and worked in outdoor education.
She encouraged people to explore the variety of jobs and careers that might not be on their immediate radar.
“Not many women think of firefighting as a possible career, even those that would be really suited to it,” she said.
“It’s just a matter of doing your research and understanding what it involves and what it offers.”
She said that women attending the session would have the option of trying out some typical physical challenges involved in the firefighter application process.
Leading Firefighter Emma Conway
Morwell’s Emma Conway said that work-life balance was a real advantage of firefighting as a career.
“I get to spend the days with my children – the shift arrangements really suit me,” she said.
“The physical stuff is hard. But that’s balanced out by a working environment that is relaxed and supportive.
“I love being a presence in the community. There are so many things you can do as a firefighter, and the only limits are the ones that you put on yourself.”
Emma said that being female had never been an issue. “You’re just another person doing the job. When I put on the uniform I don’t see myself as anything except a firefighter.”
To register for the Women and Career Firefighting information Session call (03) 9262 8967 during business hours or visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/career.