Ballarat Fire Brigade’s Junior firefighters were delighted to receive a visit from DCO Stephanie Rotarangi last week.
DCO Rotarangi attended the Juniors’ regular training night on 7 November to talk to them about her role at CFA and career in the fire services. She also led a parade and inspection, a tradition that the brigade extends to its Junior members.
The Juniors then showed DCO Rotarangi what skills they have learned, heading outside in the rain to demonstrate a two-line fog attack.
The visit came about after DCO Rotarangi presented awards at the brigade in August. On that night, three members of Ballarat’s Junior brigade spoke to DCO Rotarangi about her career and invited her to attend one of their training nights – an invitation she jumped at.
Ballarat Fire Brigade Captain and Junior Leader Mark Cartledge said DCO Rotarangi’s visit was the talk of the brigade.
“They were excited for weeks beforehand,” Mark said. “They felt very honoured, especially our female Juniors – including my daughter Tegan – who see Stephanie as a good role model.
“It’s encouraging for them to see the pathways within CFA and the emergency services, and it helps them see the benefits of moving onto seniors when they’re old enough.
“Some of our newer seniors also came along to learn from her experiences.”
DCO Rotarangi said it was a pleasure to spend time with the Ballarat Juniors and see firsthand the skills and knowledge of our youth.
“The future of CFA certainly is bright,” Stephanie said. The importance of Ballarat and all our Junior brigades to CFA is significant and I thank our volunteers who manage their training, learning and experiences.
“Thanks also to the parents of our Juniors who allow them the opportunity to participate and learn valuable skills. Special thanks to the parents of our Ballarat Juniors who put up with their children being a little late that evening!”
At the end of the visit, the Juniors presented DCO Rotarangi with a copy of the brigade’s 150th anniversary book and a photograph of the station and Dodge firetruck as a gift of appreciation.