Having children is not a barrier to becoming either a volunteer or career firefighter.
Check out Megan’s story on the ‘profile’ page where she recounts joining as a career firefighter while being a new solo mum.
Some volunteer brigades help members with childcare by organising other brigade members or other in the community to help at fire calls by looking after the kids.
- Stuff.co.nz news article: Fire siren calls babysitters to duty(external link)
- Otago Daily Times article: Wanted: babysitters to free up mums to fight fires(external link)
Fire and Emergency New Zealand offers a number of opportunities to help out, not just as an operational firefighter. Many volunteer brigades and composite fire stations (stations with both career and volunteer personnel) have members who carry out an operational support role, assisting at incidents and fires with traffic control or bringing extra gear to a scene (but not getting involved with any firefighting or rescue work).
There are also some independent operational support units, especially in cities. These units often specialise in certain support roles, such as lighting, traffic control or provide general support duties including refreshment, scene safety, transport and logistics.
There are opportunities for people with good administration or organisational skills to join volunteer brigades in administration support roles (secretary or treasurer for example) who are not required to attend any call outs.
Other brigades welcome help from members of the community to do other duties such as child minding or equipment maintenance for example. If this interests you – talk to your local brigade and see how you can help.
Fire stations usually have separate male and female or unisex toilets. Some older volunteer stations may provide more limited facilities.
Career fire stations have separate bedrooms for all staff on station. It varies from station to station as to whether there are dedicated women’s showers or not, but at the very least there are separate unisex shower rooms for all staff to use. There will be sanitary disposal containers available in the toilets.
In the case of volunteer stations, as a rule they do not have sleeping facilities on station. There is often only a single unisex shower, and in the case of more modern fire stations this will be an accessible shower.
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If you have any other questions that are not listed here, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.