Phoebe Wilson, 34, has been a volunteer firefighter in Bridgewater since April 2021.
While she dedicates her weekends and evenings to the Country Fire Service (CFS), Phoebe’s weekdays are occupied by her role at the Red Cross.
After an adventurous six-year period that took her from London to Uganda, and from Queensland to Victoria, Phoebe found herself back in South Australia in January 2021.
Her move to Bridgewater on the day of the Cherry Gardens bushfire served as a poignant reminder of her lifelong interest in becoming a firefighter.
Phoebe’s housemate, Patrick, who would later become her partner, was already a member of the local brigade, which added an extra layer of motivation to get involved.
During a radio interview at a recent CFS Bushfire Preparedness Day in Bridgewater, Phoebe shared more about her motivations for joining the brigade, telling Jennie Lenman, “it was a mix of being part of something that directly impacts our local community, the opportunity to acquire new skills, and the chance to connect with like-minded people.”
Phoebe is encouraging women to join the CFS, whether as firefighters or in other supporting capacities. Recent statistics reveal that, in July 2023, out of the 13,447 CFS volunteers, there were 2,804 women.
“The female colleagues I have here are absolutely fantastic, I’m learning so much from them,” Phoebe said.
“The males that we have in the brigade are actually very supportive, understanding that it is a male-dominated space and how to start to take take down some of the barriers that are there.”
Every Monday night, the Bridgewater CFS Brigade conducts training sessions. The team focuses on safety work and firefighting skill workshops, including chainsaw operation and the use of other equipment for tree-down jobs and other incidents.
Hear a full interview between Phoebe Wilson and ARN’s Jennie Lenman at the Bridgewater / Aldgate CFS ‘Bushfire Preparedness Day’ on 7 October 2023, via the audio play window below:
Find out more about Volunteering with the CFS via this weblink: https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/volunteers/volunteers/