Female participants gathered at the Kesten Training Centre on the Pilot Butte campus to hear from an inspiring former firefighter who encouraged the youth to contemplate careers outside the “traditional” female roles.
Marianne Boychuk, retired captain of Regina Fire Services, was the very first female firefighter in Regina. She worked hard to make her dream come true and had to overcome many challenges.
She said, “Challenges motivate people in different ways. I chose to stay positive. Every day when I woke up, I would ask myself what I could do that day to contribute to my goal of becoming a firefighter. I was not afraid to fail at different things because without failure there is no success.”
Marianne brought Morgan with her to help her with the workshop. Morgan is a 20-year-old volunteer firefighter with the Emerald Park Fire Department.
Morgan explained that she failed her first time trying to straighten out a hose, but she learned and now she can do it without any difficulty.
Marianne went on to explain that there have been female firefighters for more than two hundred years. Molly Williams was the first female firefighter in North America in 1815, and she was also of African descent. There are about 18 female fire chiefs in Canada now.
After the presentation, the youth converged outside where members of the Emerald Park Fire Department had set up a demonstration area with two of their trucks.
The firefighters demonstrated their hand tools such as the Jaws of Life and the metal spreader.
Ranch participants Patty, Kassie, and Amy donned the firefighting gear. They all remarked on how heavy the overalls and jackets felt.
After putting on their helmets, the youth worked together to use the hose to spray down a dumpster on campus. Each took a turn at holding the nozzle.
The firefighters then gave everyone a tour of the main firetruck and explained all the exterior gadgets and tools.
The youth eagerly asked how old they had to be to start fighting fires. The firefighters explained that anyone interested in a career as a firefighter should contact the Emerald Park Fire Department to volunteer.
Volunteers must be 18 years old to attend a fire scene, but younger folks can still work in the firehouse to learn aspects of the job. All volunteers are trained on the job and can go for education if they decide they are interested in pursuing a career.
Thank you to Marianne Boychuk and members of the Emerald Park Fire Department for giving us a day to remember!