Dural RFS

Over the last month Dural members have been in the full swing of training. From doing the initial bush firefighter course through to the crew leader course and learning to drive the trucks, there is a bit of something for everyone. We encourage members to keep advancing their skills both through brigade training and attaining additional qualifications.

International Womens Day was last month on the 8th of March. It’s a time we can show our appreciation for all the incredible women firefighters in the NSW RFS. Dural has a number of active female members in its ranks. Three of these members attended meet and greets over the weekend before International Women’s Day to talk with other women within our district. It was a great way to create a network and learn from each other. It was lovely to see the range of women involved in the RFS from Uni students to new mothers.

In the theme of International Women’s Day, Dural would love to showcase one of our female members, Paulette. Paulette is passionate about serving the community and in her role as a risk advisor at work, she collaborates with the public sector to solve complex societal problems. Outside of work, she is an avid hiker and her favourite hikes include the Overland Track in Tasmania and the W Track in Patagonia. She joined the brigade almost three years ago and it is always lovely having her around. Here is a bit about what she has to say about her experiences within the RFS.

“After the 2019 – 2020 bushfire season, I felt compelled to join the RFS as I wanted to be part of a team to help save lives and properties in times of bushfire. When I first applied to the RFS, I had many doubts in my mind – Am I physically fit enough? Will I be one of the only few women in the RFS? Will I fit in as I have not seen anyone in the RFS that looks like me – Asian? However, since I joined the Dural bridge, I realised my concerns and stereotypes were far from the truth. Whilst being a firefighter can be physically demanding, the brigade members are always there to help – we work together as a team. In my initial bushfire fighting training, three out of the four of us were women and since then, I have met many more inspiring women in the RFS. In terms of ‘fitting in’, the brigade is made up of a diverse group of individuals from different countries and backgrounds. Looking back, there is nothing to worry about.

For the last three years with the Dural brigade, I have learnt many new skills – not just firefighting. I have served alongside generous and selfless brigade members and emergency services personnel through bush and structural firefighting, hazard reductions, flood recovery, storm damage, search and rescue and community engagement. The experience has been both rewarding and humbling. It is an immense privilege to be in the RFS and to play a small part in serving our community.”