Sefulu Fereti Siaosi did not think she would become a fire fighter but she wanted a job and put in an application in the Fire and Emergency Services. Her application was successful and it’s now 12 years since she became a fire fighter.
The experience she gained over the years has made her passionate with the job she is doing.
“ Over the years I have grown in my job as a fire fighter and have a passion for it,” Siaosi told Newsline.
Work in the Fire and Emergency Services is all about giving help to the community and saving lives and these are indeed noble deeds she added.
Fire and Emergency Services is male dominated. Of the 149 staff only thirty are women. But this is not an issue for Siaosi as she wants to concentrate on building up her skills and meet the challenges, which come with the job.
The 34-year-old Siaosi said that she is grateful for the experience she built over the years for now she is able to handle some of the areas she struggled with when she started. Overcoming these challenges is important so that she could be part of the team. She admits that she has not been able to overcome all the challenges.
“Physically there are some things which we female fighters struggle with. One of these is handling the fire truck hose. It is heavy and it requires physical strength to do this. I really struggled with this area when I first started. Now I am accustomed to doing this,” Siaosi told Newsline.
“Keeping fit is another area. Fitness is very important in our line of work.
“ I also try to make sure that I meet all the other skills.”
The job is demanding Siaosi explained because lives are in danger.
“When the call comes from work at anytime at night time or daytime for an emergency we leave everything including our own children and attend to the call. We have to respond to the call. Our family understands the nature of my job and they are supportive.
Siaosi who is from Moto’otua said that it is exciting to see that more females are joining the Fire and Emergency Services. Fire Services she said exercises gender equality in allocating of its duties and responsibilities.
There are always challenges Siaosi said but these have not prevented the female fire fighters from performing their responsibilities alongside their male counterparts.