LAST week, volunteer firefighter, Alice Lavender, took on a new task with her fire fighting role, and represented New South Wales for the bi-annual Women and Fire-Fighting Australalisa (WAFA) conference.
Or CLICK FOR ADVERT QUOTE
The conference took place in Wellington, New Zealand, and Alice was represented Port Stephens, and one of only eleven NSW Rural Fire Service delegates to represent the service.
Over the three days of the conference, the delegates had hands on experience with fire investigation, fire equipment, Urban Search and Rescue and Air Ops.
They were also treated to inspiration service stories by various key speakers, including Kelly Martin, the Chief of Fire and Aviation Management at Yosemite National Park, who put her 30 year career on the line to testify about the sexual harassment she had experienced in her agency.
Alice Lavender told News Of The Area, “The conference was a great experience and very fulfilling.”
“Key points I got out of the conference, were to challenge and change the stereotype of what a firefighter is and can be.”
“There is such a great need to encourage more women to join the fire services, as well as support them to take on leadership and senior positions, including specialist roles.”
“Women are such a minority across all fire services (3-5% in career services, 22% in the NSW RFS), so there was a real focus on the importance of mentoring; being a mentor to new recruits as well as seeking out a mentor to support your own training.”
Alice chose to originally join the Medowie Rural Fire Brigade as the fire service had always interested her, and she found it a great way to give back to the community that she loves.
If you’d like to join Alice and her brigade members in making a difference in our fantastic community, consider dropping down to the station and having a chat about how to be involved.
By Rachael VAUGHAN