Fire fighting strong

Fire fighting strong

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Alise Gavranich, Alethea Spiers, Lara Freeman and Kellie Bullen are the new firefighter graduates.

Four female trainee firefighters from Canning will be joining the male-dominated service, marking the largest number of female firefighters to graduate for more than two decades.

Alise Gavranich, Alethea Spiers, Lara Freeman and Kellie Bullen graduated on November 15 alongside 19 male colleagues after a highly successful recruitment campaign that led to a 153 per cent increase in female applications compared to the previous intake.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services campaign targeted women across sporting events and lifestyle interests including strength and conditioning training.

Twenty-four-year old Ms Freeman said she decided to become a firefighter when she was 19 years old as a result of working in the mines and being part of the company’s emergency response team.

“I feel honoured to be a part of the biggest group of female firefighters to graduate,” she said.

“We all worked so incredibly hard to get here and to see our perseverance payoff is so special.

“I believe that either gender can be a successful firefighter with the right attitude, strength and skills.”

During the 20-week intensive course the trainees completed both theoretical and practical components of a nationally recognised, competency-based training program.

Units included firefighting skills, road crash rescue, technical rescue, hazardous materials, emergency and off-road driving, community safety and teamwork.

For 25-year old Alise Gavranich it was her firefighting father who inspired her.

She said the number of women graduating is reflective of the applicants suitable to the job role.

“Lower numbers in female applications, and it being viewed as a male dominated career may deter some applicants,” she said.

However Ms Gavranich said one of the highlights of joining emergency services were the bonds she has made.