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History in the making
About nine years ago Heather Hutton wanted to do something for the community but, at first, she didn’t know what to do.
***Heather Hutton 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***
She likes animals, so thought about volunteering for an animal welfare organisation.
But her brother Lindsay was a member at Ballarat Fire Brigade for 20 years, and so she thought she would try it too.
Since then, she hasn’t looked back.
“I love it,” she says.
“There are more and more women in CFA than when I first started.”
Heather is a junior leader and being mentored by the brigade for other leadership roles. Last year six Juniors, three girls and three boys, stayed on and moved up into Seniors.
Heather is about to represent District 15 at the upcoming Leadership Victoria – Igniting Leadership Program, something she looking forward to.
She hopes to become the first female secretary in the history of the brigade.
Between working full-time for a medical alarm company and being an active member of the brigade, Heather says there’s little time for anything else.
Heather still finds the time to get out on a truck and recalls being called out to Kinglake on the day after Black Saturday.
“That’s one thing that will definitely stay with me forever. It’s not something you can forget about easily,” she says.
Now she volunteers to be part of strike teams, as getting up in the middle of the night isn’t so appealing anymore.
In January she was part of a strike team sent to the Moyston fire, and the year before she was sent to the Grampians.
“I really enjoy my involvement in the fire brigade; it is a great way to spend some of your time,” she says.
“It has paid dividends in many respects. At my age, being asked to do a leadership role is fantastic.
“Anyone who wants to do something for the community should volunteer.”
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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