- Latest news
- South West
- South East
- North East
- North West
- Media Releases
- Community Safety
- Events / Fundraising / Offers
- Incidents - Bushfire
- Incidents - Other
- Incidents - Structure
- Incidents - Vehicle / Rescue / Hazmat
- Vehicles / Equipment / Buildings
- Operational Information
- Planning & Research
- Training & Recruitment
- Youth & Juniors
- Health & Safety
- CEO Updates
- Chief Officer Updates
Women Firefighters Training Day
The Women Firefighters training day was inspired by attending the Celebrating CFA Women Luncheon held this year.
By Karen Shedden, Axedale Brigade
I had taken part in a successful smaller Women's Day in 2011 with Axedale Brigade, running it and inviting our surrounding brigades, and I thought why not run one for all the women firefighters in the Eppalock Group this year.
The aim of this day was to encourage women who had done Minimum Skills but were no longer active and active experienced women firefighters to undertake training together and to encourage team work and bonding within the women of the Eppalock Group.
The aim was to show that everyday women can be firefighters. I am an office worker in my paid work, and there are others who are child care workers or have young children. The idea is to encourage other women in the community to come and join as this may help with the shortage of firefighters during weekdays.
There are many more women in the group I couldn't invite such as Comms Officers and Secretary to name a couple. These are also very worthy and important in a brigade or group.
The PAD operators and instructors were brilliant and gave great instructions in an informative and supportive manner. We had extra activities in the morning which included the Golden Square MCV which Chris Corr talked about and their new FOV and the specialist communications role of these vehicles.
Norm Bowen and two Critical Incident Stress Peers gave an insight into what their job entails and how this helps in any situation, whether on the fireground or as an individual. They provided great information on a number of subjects including 'Managing your mental health' and what support is provided.
The success of the day is also due to the mentors who assisted each group. We divided into five groups with a mentor in each who helped to keep time, make sure everyone participated and the team enjoyed themselves along the way. The mentors were Axedale Captain Peter Harkins, Mount Camel Captain Mick Hall, Axedale Lt James Harkins, Junortoun Lt Deb Monti and last but certainly not least Axedale Lt Ian Cummings.
After lunch we had sensational speakers such as Brigade Sustainability Team Leader Debra Salvagno, who spoke about the Celebrating CFA women book and encouraging women to remain and join the CFA.
VFBV Sue Bull who helped us understand in more depth what their role is supporting the CFA firefighters, talked about ' Issue and Initiative pathway', the Welfare fund and Presumptive Legislation discussion.
BASO Sharon Maloney talked about her role involving Brigades and what assistance she can give. Also talked about Stepping Stones (well worth going on), it is challenges your limits in a fun safe environments with fellow adult female members.
Also we honoured a wonderful person who is an inspiration to us all. Pat Gill was presented with the CFA Women's' award for Extraordinary Role Model.
Last but certainly not least is Tracey Mastropavlos, she has been fantastic with the assistance she had given me to run this day. She works with Operational Training & Volunteerism and they supplied wonderful goodies bags which involved information and many other great goodies.