The emergency services have traditionally been a male-dominated domain – Girls on Fire are trying to change that by encouraging more women to get involved.
SBS joined our Girls Fire and Emergency Services Camp in 2018.
Matt Connellan, SBS: It will take more than a hose to put out these girls’ enthusiasm. The 20 girls aged between 15 and 17 are on the inaugural Girls on Fire emergency services camp.
Isabella Tummarello: I was just looking for my next challenge, I guess. The next exciting thing that I could be involved in where I can meet new people and learn new skills.
MC: It’s designed It’s designed to encourage more women to join the emergency services and is the brainchild of Fire and Rescue NSW station officer, Bronnie Mackintosh.
Bronnie Mackintosh: For the last few years there’s been only 5% of women be firefighters. Through our 50/50 recruitment strategy for Fire and Rescue we’ve already changed that to 7.3%, so that strategy has worked and is working.
MC: The aim of the camp is to teach firefighting and emergency services skills as well as increasing confidence and resilience.
Lessons on fire safety and prevention and first aid complimented by outdoor activities, extinguishing real fires as well as facing fears on the giant swing.
While the giant swing is the ultimate test of trust, this week isn’t just about firefighting. The week-long camp is a multi-agency collaboration designed to teach these campers all the skills they’ll need to work across all of the emergency services.
Todd Burns, SES: So they’ll be doing some search and rescue activities on the water, the type of thing we would do in an actual flood situation.
Stephanice Gardiner: I’m looking forward to learning how the flood situations work, how they rescue people from the floods.
MC: Kate Price thinks the emergency services may be her true calling.
Kate Price: I wasn’t too sure about where I was heading but it combines all the different things that I love in life and it might be! You might see me there.
MC: And as for the idea that the emergency services is a man’s job.
BM: come and watch us we can and we do and we are and it’s making our services and all of our agencies better and more connected.
MC: One camp at a time.