A training evening at VEMTC Penshurst gave six women from Gazette Fire Brigade the opportunity to practise their firefighting skills.
The evening, organised by Group Training Officer Adrian Straw, enabled members from Gazette to undertake practical training in a range of scenarios including a simulated skip fire and car fire.
Morna Semmens is a member of Gazette Fire Brigade and attended the event. She said the session was a great way for some of our women members to practise their skills.
“We’re so close to the VEMTC Penshurst campus and it’s important to take advantage of that,” Morna said. “We’re trying to encourage the younger cohort that’s coming through and we thought this was a unique opportunity to build their confidence, and the six participants had a great time.
“Sometimes when members go to a fire, they don’t always get a chance to practise all of their skills, so this gave them an opportunity to do so. It gave them a chance to have a go at something they may not be as confident with, or something they may not have done before.”
Morna emphasised that there are a range of opportunities for women in CFA that don’t involve fighting fires.
“I’d really encourage any women who have ever thought about joining CFA to give it a go. Volunteering is so rewarding and there are a range of roles you can help out with.”
Jayne Jewell is a firefighter with Gazette Fire Brigade and took part in the training session. She said it was a good opportunity to practise her skills.
“The training session was a great way to build my confidence, both in and around the trucks and also when it comes to fighting fires. It was really good to enable everyone to build a bit more confidence and have a bit of a go.”
Jayne said she would encourage any members to take part in similar sessions if the opportunity arose.
“I would definitely recommend others to give these sessions a go. I can’t pick a favourite part!”
CFA has a Women's Advisory Committee made up of many of our women members across the state. The group comes together regularly to discuss issues facing their brigades, and how we can empower women within the organisation. For more information, visit Members Online.
CFA also offers a Women's Network Toolkit, designed to assist Districts and/or Regions who are considering starting a Women's Network or Women's Reference Group. Find out more here.