Stephanie Habibis has been a part of the St Leonards-Indented Head Fire Brigade almost all her life. However, it has only been in the past five years that her involvement became official, when she registered as a brigade support member in 2014.
During her time in the brigade, Steph has been a highly active contributor, and will give almost anything a go. She has a near perfect attendance record for Sunday rosters, as well as at fundraising and community events that the brigade is involved in. She’s well known in the community because of her friendly and outgoing personality and her enthusiasm for being a volunteer.
Steph has been supported by the other members in undertaking a multitude of roles within the Brigade. With supervision, she helps with everything from fire equipment maintenance, fire plug inspections, and station maintenance including gardening and station cleaning duties, hose rolling, maintaining stock levels of food and cleaning supplies, community barbecues and fundraising.
“I sweep the floor of the engine bay, make sure there’s enough stuff like serviettes, sauce and cleaning items on the barbecue trailer,” Steph said.
“I like being responsible for getting ready to do the barbecues. It’s my job to give out the drinks.
“I help with writing shopping lists and doing shopping. I help to wash the fire trucks. I put labels on things so people know where they go. I help make sure people get the fire plugs checked.”
Her commitment to getting the job done certainly keeps the brigade members on their toes.
“People sometimes forget to do things, so I remind them that we need to do it. and I like to make sure all the things get done because it’s important. I make sure people know what they need to do so they can get it done.”
Steph also played a pivotal role in the concept and development of the Nelson Park ‘Volunteering with CFA’ program and participated in the initial pilot. From this, she continues to grow in confidence and develop her leadership skills with the support of her fellow brigade members.
She is a big fan of teamwork because jobs get done more easily. She particularly enjoys taking part in the foreshore market barbecues, annual Santa Run and the Good Friday Appeal for the Royal Children’s Hospital.
“I like working with other members of the brigade,” she said. “They help me a lot and I help them a lot too.
“I like talking to people and doing good things for other people. I like handing out lollies to kids to make them happy. I collect money for the children’s hospital to help out the sick kids.”
Having Steph in the brigade brings out a level of compassion, patience and understanding with the other members, and an appreciation for giving things a go – because if she can, anyone can.
Steph’s commitment to the brigade and getting things done has been recognised in a couple of ways this year. Not only did she receive the Captain’s Award at the brigade annual dinner, she has also been elected as the team leader for fire plugs at the brigade elections, which is a fantastic achievement.
Steph’s contribution to her brigade and community demonstrates that with a great attitude and a supportive environment, everyone can contribute in CFA.