Jacinta Savory defies the traditional notion that younger Australians don’t volunteer. At 22, she is a committed volunteer firefighter with the Werribee CFA brigade.
With International Women’s Day just round the corner on Sunday 8 March 2020, we sat down with Jacinta to hear her thoughts on what it’s like to be a younger woman volunteering with the CFA.
Werribee CFA volunteer Jacinta Savory.
“It’s actually not uncommon to jump on a truck and find most of the crew are in their mid-twenties,” Jacinta says. "That said our older firefighters are an inspiration, I get on really well with them as well. There’s no us against them mentality at all - whether men or women, young or old - when we jump on the truck, we’re all in it together.”
Jacinta has been a member of the Werribee CFA for four years, first joining because her older brother did, and she thought it was a good place to hang out with friends and like-minded people.
“It’s interesting - when I first joined Werribee we had six females, today there are around 15. It’s great to see women taking a larger role operationally. The CFA is not gender specific at all,” Jacinta says.
When asked what the biggest challenges she faced were, Jacinta talked about her first house fire.
“That I think was the moment that could’ve been overwhelming. But you feel so supported by your fellow members, you’re trained, you trust everyone who is there around you.”
Her early experience in firefighting has also led to a career in emergency services - today Jacinta is a serving member of Victoria Police. So why the emergency services?
“I love working with people, helping people, making a difference. But I get something out of it too. As you can see, it has helped inspire me to move into emergency services work.”
Today Jacinta is completing rescue training with the CFA to broaden her skills, and work more closely with first responders' such as paramedics.
But one of her favourite activities with the CFA, and one she annually requests work off for on Christmas Eve, remains the annual Werribee fire brigade ‘Santa Run’.
“It’s a bit cheesy I know, but it really is my favourite time of year. It’s a time of celebration for the brigade., to look back at what we have done throughout the year, to see the kids in the community. I love it.”
Author: By the CFA news and media team