Formerly an all-male profession, firefighting no longer has a huge gender gap as more and more women prove they can do the job.
The Errington Volunteer Fire Department (EVFD) has a number of female firefighters who are part of a team constantly training and upgrading their skills.
Stacey Price joined the department in July 2012 and said although it is hard work it is also exciting and rewarding.
She said it was something she had always wanted to do but it wasn’t until she was invited to check out the department by Shawn Heine who is also a female firefighter in Errington that she actually seriously considered it.
“I joined because I wanted to feel like I was part of the community and that I was doing something helpful.”
Price is a single mom who is raising two children and working full time and she admitted her volunteer work in the department can be challenging but that is one of the reasons she became a firefighter.
“It can be physical. I had to adjust to the weight of the turnout gear and on top of that the SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus),” she explained.
At first Price was concerned her fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder that causes widespread pain in the muscles as well as other symptoms, may get in the way of her progress.
But despite her health issues she has proven she can handleall aspects of the job and after 15 months has advanced from a new recruit to a probationary firefighter.
“My fibromyalgia has been more in control over the last few years so I took a chance and challenged myself. I wanted to see how far I can push myself. I have some issues with fatigue but I still manage to keep up.”
Price hasn’t gone on a lot of calls but she attended her first structure fire this summer where she got to use her firefighting skills.
Price is moving her way through the ranks and is looking forward to her next achievement … getting her yellow hat.
She said she enjoys the camaraderie among the crew and the ever-changing exciting field of firefighting and encourages more people to consider volunteering for the EVFD.
Each firefighter brings individual strengths to the team and volunteers don’t need any experience to join but they do need to be physically fit and have a desire to learn.
If you want to learn more, you can come out Sunday, October 20 and meet the volunteers who provide fire and emergency services in the community.
The public is invited to an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Errington Fire Hall where members will be demonstrating some of their procedures as well as serving hot dogs and other refreshments.
A representative from Genesis Fire Protection Ltd. will be on hand to answer questions about fire extinguishers and children can get a photo with Smokey the Bear and participate in some hands-on demos. Fire hall No. 1 is located at 960 Errington Road.