Praised by participants as a training day to remember, the Women of Wellington Practical Development Day saw 17 women from CFA’s South East gather to hone their operational skills.
Members from Avon Group, Willung South and Sale Fire Brigades supported each other through various hands-on activities on Sunday, 25 June at CFA’s VEMTC West Sale facility.
The feedback received by participants positively reinforced the benefits of getting involved in unified training days, with the women inspired to work in teams, network, and build confidence.
From hose handling to rescues, patient care and situational awareness drills, the women were put to the ultimate test alongside experienced Pad Operators and instructors.
Fresh off a transfer from Echuca to Sale Fire Brigade, five-year CFA member Maddy Zlateff jumped straight at the opportunity to partake in her first collaborative training day.
“It was great to be a part of and meet so many new people. We split into different groups and got to really co-mingle with the women there,” Maddy said.
“For me, I was on a truck full of strangers, but we went straight into simulating a turnout to a car accident and doing all the roles that came with that.
“I was put into a crew leader position which was rotated around. It gave me opportunities that I don’t really get on the fireground because that’s not part of my current skillset just yet.”
Maddy spoke fondly of the volume of experiences on offer, with the members working through six different tasks across the day. Between bin fires, pole fires, gas leaks, car accidents and shed fires, the eager firefighters got a breadth of experience in different scenarios and roles.
Golden Beach Captain and 36-year CFA member, Paula Grosveld could not be prouder of the can-do attitude of the women involved and the energy that was displayed throughout the day.
“I stood back alongside the other two Captains who were there, and we just let the participants step forward and shine on their own,” Paula said.
“We put people in roles as incident controllers, or crew leaders and some of them had not had that opportunity before, so it was just amazing, and fantastic to see everyone doing so well.
“They all gave it a shot and weren’t worried if mistakes were made because they knew the instructors were there to assist.”
Paula said the final exercise was the most rewarding, which saw the entire group come together to navigate a car on fire with gas cylinders causing trouble.
“They worked through several problems together and figured it out by themselves. Everyone had great communication, they talked, they smiled, and they constructively yelled!”