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No barriers to volunteering: Rosey
Being a part of a big club with a purpose is how Rosey Chester, describes volunteering with CFA. And although she’s not on the back of a fire truck or wearing the yellow overalls, Rosey’s contribution to this club certainly has no less of a purpose.
Rosey, one of the CFA women being profiled this week in the lead up to International Women’s Day, is the second longest-serving Communications Officer in the Alexandra Group of brigades, having joined CFA in 1998. She runs day-to-day dispatch communications for 12 brigades in her area.
“It can be a high pressure role, particularly in the first 15 minutes of an incident when things are very busy but I think I’ve taught myself how to make it work and how to adapt,” Rosey said.
Adapting is something Rosey is very familiar with. While she won’t let it hold her back, Rosey has had to make some changes in her life since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 25 years ago.
“It doesn’t really affect my role as a Group Communications Officer because I’ve put contingencies in place. If I’m crook, there’s always someone available to help out but I like to be able to do it and keep busy,” Rosey said.
Rosey and her husband Chris also have commitments running their business Murrindindi Computers, but she’s always available to her group of fire brigades around the clock. “As I get around in a wheelchair, I’ve got portable equipment so that I can get in between home and the business but still be available,” she said.
“CFA and the Group have provided radio transceiver equipment to ensure this can happen. It also comes down to working with a group of great people. That is one of the reasons I’ve kept at it and that includes my husband Chris who is a great support to me and CFA. He has been there through thick and thin.”
As with many of CFA’s volunteer members, Rosey doesn’t see her contribution as anything more than giving something back to her community. But as Alexandra Fire Brigade Captain, Gordon Simpson said, “Rosey is one of those quiet achievers and a lot of people probably don’t realise her tremendous, long-standing commitment.”
This year Rosey was awarded the Murrindindi Shire Citizen of the Year, which Gordon said was “well deserved recognition”. But, for Rosey, it’s not the recognition that counts; it’s getting the message out there that there are no barriers to volunteering.
“You don’t just have to be out fighting the fires. There are many different roles you can do as a volunteer with CFA,” she said.
In the lead-up to International Women’s Day this Friday 7 March, CFA is profiling women who represent the many and varied roles that CFA members play in their communities.
All the stories featured this week will be published in a special booklet titled Celebrating CFA Women which will be launched on Friday.
In the lead-up to International Women’s Day , CFA is profiling women who represent the many and varied roles that CFA members play in their communities.
All the stories featured this week will be published in a special booklet titled Celebrating CFA Women which was launched on Friday 7 March.
See also: Celebrating CFA Women
Some more of this weeks profiles include:
4. A Peer Apart