Boggabri 229 Fire + Rescue NSW’s newest recruit is hopeful more people will put up their hand to join the team.
Usually better known for her paintings, artist Tammey McAllan signed on with the Boggabri brigade a few months ago after encouragement from her childhood hero, station commander Brian King.
Mr King said there was a need for more recruits because shift work made it difficult to have enough staff at the ready.
“Daytime availability is what we’re lacking,” he said.
“[Fire + Rescue] does sound a bit daunting, but it isn’t.
“You get well-trained and your confidence is built with the training.”
READ MORE: Tammey trades a paintbrush for a fire hose
The station commander said he worked with staff to suit their family needs, including Tammey who is a single mum.
He said Tammey was the third female on the crew, with a fourth at the interview stage.
“I’ve been at the station for 26 years and we’ve always had at least one female on the crew [but] a few more females would be good,” he said.
Tammey said she felt capable because of the training she had received in Armidale in September.
“Tammey is the sort of girl when she takes something on, she completes it, and she’s not happy until she does,” Mr King said.
“She asks a lot of blonde questions but I prefer that – all of them to ask questions.”
Tammey will head off to Armidale on October 18 for phase two of her training, which will focus on rescue.
Mr King said Fire + Rescue was about more than just fire. Staff also deal with hazardous materials, vehicle accidents, assist in floods and severe storms, do community engagement and act as back-up for ambulance, the SES and the Rural Fire Service.
“I’ve certainly learnt a lot more than I originally thought was involved,” Tammey said.
Mr King said after Tammey completes her four days in Armidale “she comes home and is mine to train and she’ll be a fully fledged firefighter”.
To find out more about joining Fire + Rescue NSW, visit https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au