Journey of a new firefighter: Madeline's story

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The response from emergency services to a freak storm event was all the encouragement Madeline Dundon needed to join CFA.


Having just moved into her new house weeks earlier, the storms that thrashed the state in June caused widespread damage to the town of Kalorama, with some residents being without power for the better part of a month.

After experiencing the storm event and the devastation firsthand, Madeline was inspired to sign up to her local brigade.

“I decided to join CFA because of the weather event we had here in June,” Madeline said.

“I’d just moved into my property six weeks prior to the event and it was unbelievable. It was a really severe storm, that passed through.

“All of the roads were blocked, fallen trees everywhere, there was no power, no reception.

“It was truly devastating. The thing that sticks out in my mind the most is the role that emergency services played in that. It made me realise that there’s more to CFA than just fighting fires.”

For Madeline, the thing that excites her most about joining CFA is learning all the different capabilities of the various appliances - and living out a childhood dream of being a firefighter.

“I’m most excited for the fire trucks!” she said.

“Pushing and pulling buttons and levers; seeing what they do. All the different hoses - the lengths, widths and materials, the attachments to the hoses, how to connect water: it’s a childhood dream.”

Madeline is currently completing her General Firefighter training, learning the key skills that will help her be prepared for her first turn out.

While she admits she is apprehensive about jumping on a truck for the first time, she feels confident that through General Firefighter she will be ready once the time comes.

“It’s a high-pressure situation. Everyone turning out, getting geared up, jumping on a truck with sirens blaring. When you’re just starting your training, that does seem overwhelming,” Madeline said.

“But I know that that’s what General Firefighter training is for – to give me the skills, knowledge and above all the confidence to get out there and support my fellow members and my community when the time comes.”

Every day, CFA brigades across the state welcome new members to their ranks.

This story is part of a series following the experience of new volunteer member Madeline who is currently completing General Firefighter – CFA’s foundation training for operational members.


Submitted by CFA News & Media