Donegal Fire Service has recently launched a new recruitment drive and is particularly interested in attracting new female recruits.
Dermot Brady, Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer with the Donegal Fire Service is keen to see more women putting themselves forward to join the Fire Service in Donegal.
“At the moment Donegal Fire Service does not have any female staff and I think we need to make a concerted effort to highlight the importance of having more women employed in the fire service“ says SACFO Brady.
“It is hard to say why we do not have more female recruits but I think the Fire Service is an excellent choice for many women who want to make an important contribution to their own communities. In my own experience in other Fire Services, the contribution of my female colleagues has always been outstanding and women are every bit as capable as any man in dealing with the physical and mental challenges that comes with the job.”
Bernie Murray who is a part-time retained Fire Fighter at Achill Fire Station in Co. Mayo agrees with SACFO Brady. “There is no doubt that we women are up for the challenge and I believe that we are as able as our male counterparts when it comes to the fire service.”
“I always had an interest in the fire service, even as a young girl” says Bernie “and when the opportunity arose more than twenty years ago to join the Mayo Fire Service, I jumped at the chance.”
“I work full time in a Solicitors Firm in Achill and my employer is extremely supportive when it comes to my role in the Fire Service and I think this is critical for any person interested in becoming a retained fire fighter. I don’t have children and I think it would be very important for any woman who has children to have a very strong support network if they want to take on this role.”
“While the job is challenging both mentally and physically, it is also extremely rewarding. I love working with people and being there to help calm down and comfort anyone who is in distress. We do a lot of training and this part of the job is becoming more and more demanding.”
“We have a great team in Achill and I am the only female fire fighter in my crew of 9. We cover an area of about 45km and the crew are like my family, we spend so much time together. I don’t get any special treatment and I certainly don’t expect any but we all treat each other with great respect”.
“I would encourage anyone with an interest in the Fire Service to join but I would advise them to be sure that they are both physically and mentally fit for the job. You have to be disciplined and you have to take orders from your Station Officer that’s not to say that your ideas and suggestions are not welcome, they are, but when you are in a life or death situation you must always follow orders and a well disciplined crew is essential.”
Donegal Fire Service is currently advertising for part time retained fire fighters for their stations in Buncrana, Carndonagh, Stranorlar, Dungloe & Falcaragh. For more on how to apply visit www.donegalcoco.ie