A training day specifically for women has been held at CFA’s training campus in Ballan to boost the skills and confidence of our firefighters.
Approximately 20 women from brigades around Ballarat, Geelong, and Ararat gathered at the Central Highlands Victorian Emergency Management Training Campus (VEMTC) to hone their skills around fire in a safe environment.
Sebastopol Fire Brigade Lieutenant Vanessa Park, who is also the secretary of CFA’s District 15 Women’s Reference Group, said the networking with other volunteers was a crucial element of the day.
“These days really help women build their confidence on the fireground,” said Lt Park.
“Some brigades don’t get as much training as others, so it’s a great opportunity to learn new things that some volunteers may not learn at their usual brigade training.
“There may be specific tips that might help women, and we really get to share these skills and tips.
“These women’s training days are held across the state, and there are plenty of other opportunities like the Women’s Burn Day at Cape Clear which is a great opportunity for women to use their skills around fire."
The volunteers undertook training across several scenarios including using internal and external breathing apparatus equipment, some wildfire-based scenarios and a networking lunch.
The training was conducted by instructors from Central Highlands VEMTC, including Daylesford Fire Brigade volunteer Kayla Manning who is a volunteer instructor in training.
“We cater for everyone from wildfire to full structure fires, and it doesn’t matter what your skill base is or qualifications,” said Ms Manning.
“The day is all about women training in a safe environment at these training grounds, and just having a real go.
“A lot of women come from brigades where there are not many females which can sometimes be difficult, so it’s great to come and build those connections.
“It’s a great environment to learn from each other and despite whether you’re here as a participant or as an instructor, you feel like you’re really doing the job together. ”