Firefighting females join the ‘permanents’

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Broken Hill’s 238 Fire Station has two new Permanent Firefighters, with Kristy Ramsay and Saraiha Rakete joining the ranks.
Both ladies were formerly Retained Firefighters with 239 South Station, before applying to join the Permanents. Kristy, from February 2016 and midway through 2020 was named the station’s Acting Captain for one year, then named Captain of the station for three months. Saraiha had a four-year stint as a Retained Firefighter, she began in June 2017 and finished up in July 2021.
This week the duo started their Permanent Firefighter careers at 238 Station. Kristy’s first day was on Tuesday, November 16 having joined C Platoon, while Saraiha’s first day was on Wednesday, November 17 on B Platoon.
Both Kristy and Saraiha were ecstatic to finally be on the job.
“I’m very excited, it’s been in the making for a little while, so it’s really good to be at the point where we’ve joined, it’s really good,” said Kristy.
“It’s amazing. The time and experience over the last four years at 239 has opened our eyes to what they do and wanting to do that permanently which is setting us for up life. And one of the best experiences I’ve had at college and I’m really looking forward to working here,” said Saraiha.
Back in August, Kristy and Saraiha travelled to Orchard Hills, Sydney where they underwent 15-weeks of intensive training at the Fire and Rescue NSW Emergency Services Academy.
“The Academy was in Sydney so unfortunately we couldn’t come home for the 15 weeks that we were there due to COVID, but it was great. We managed to get accommodation just next to each other, so we stuck it out through the whole college together and now we’re on opposing Platoon’s which is even better,” said Saraiha.
They underwent a wide range of training to prepare them, which they both said was a really good learning process.
“The instructors were fabulous at teaching you and explaining to you, so you get that clear understanding of why we do things and how we do things. We did lots of search and rescue, your initial skills, firefighting, bush fire, road crash, a whole range, basically everything we do here,” said Kristy.
Whilst at the Academy, Kristy and Saraiha were trained by former local Firefighter, Cohen Turner who is a Recruit Instructor at the Academy.
Both new recruits are grateful to now be doing a job they love on a permanent basis. Kristy said when she initially became a Firefighter, she wasn’t sure what she was looking for until she joined.
“Initially I just felt like I wanted something more, I had no idea what it was. The opportunity came up and I joined, and it was like the little switch was flicked and it was definitely what I wanted to do,” said Kristy.
Similar in Saraiha’s case, she said she didn’t feel like she wanted to be a Firefighter before she became one.
“When I initially applied for retained, it was just everything, it’s everything in the job. And now to have it permanently is even better, so when the opportunity popped up, we jumped on it straight away,” said Saraiha.
Now that they’ve started, Kristy and Saraiha are most looking forward to learning their roles, crews and getting the job done.
“Just getting into the groove with your crew and working as a team, getting to the jobs and getting things done. Learning a lot of knowledge, you’re always learning you never know anything, so it’ll be good to just advance our skill set continuously,” said Kristy.
“Learning my platoon, learning the ins and outs of this job and having a really long career in it,” said Saraiha.
Both local Fire Stations, 238 and 239 need Retained Firefighters. Retained Firefighters are on call Firefighters who response to emergencies 24 hours a day from home or work rather than on duty at the station. For more information contact either of the local stations or visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au

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