AIMAN AMERUL MUNER/Stuff
New St Andrews firefighter Lisa Grant decided to join Fire and Emergency New Zealand and give back to her community.
Joining a rural fire brigade was never on Lisa Grant's minduntil she heard her neighbour saying that the St Andrews volunteer brigade was looking for more members.
Grant, born and bred in Timaru, said with the idea planted by the neighbour, she did some research and decided to join the Fire and Emergency New Zealand brigade to give back to her community.
She has since completed a seven-day training course in Woolston, Christchurch, officially graduating as a volunteer firefighter on May 6.
“I signed up in July last year, and I was attending meetings and doing some training.
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“In September, when I got my gear, I was allowed to shadow somebody on call-outs, but I couldn't do much.”
The training course involved a lot of dedication.
“On day one we learned about knots. On day two we got to use the ladders, working at heights and learning how to use windows to get in and out of a building.
“On the third day we started training with breathing apparatus for the next two days. It was revved up each day. We had to put on the gear and go on an obstacle course, and it got harder and harder each day.”
She said the final part of the training also involved a live fire they had to extinguish.
Grant said the other firefighters at St Andrews have been very welcoming throughout her time there and have supported her before and after the training.
The 33-year-old, who is also a physical education and health teacher at Timaru Girls’ High School, said she has enjoyed giving back to the community so far.
“I moved to a rural area (St Andrews) in January 2020 and this was an opportunity to join a rural fire brigade and give back to the community.”
Grant said her partner has been supportive and encouraging.
“She was all good about it, and she encouraged me to be a part of it...
“She has even helped me with my gear during a call-out and assisted me with the process of getting prepared when the alarm’s going off.”
Her advice to someone thinking about joining is that the job is something worth considering.
“You never know when you may need help one day so to be a part of something where you can help others and helping your community is very rewarding.’’
She said it's a great way to get to know more people in the community, and one can also learn many skills which are beneficial in everyday life.