OUR women in orange will be putting on an event this weekend in Torquay showcasing the hands-on skills of female volunteers.
VICSES will be hosting a special ‘Women in Rescue’ event with numerous key skills on display including performing the ‘jaws of life’ on Saturday April 17.
The event aims to promote gender balance within the SES after data revealed just one third of volunteers were women.
Gender balance will be promoted in four key areas including building women’s confidence in all roles associated with a rescue, increasing familiarity with rescue tools through more hands-on learning, providing a positive, welcoming and challenging learning environment as well as expanding leadership capacity and networking opportunities of women in emergency services.
Torquay unit controller Rachel Vella said the female first responders at VICSES respond to highly complex and challenging incidents no different to men.
“Our Women in Rescue event showcases their life-saving skills, using the latest rescue technology,” she said.
“A lot of people think that only men use heavy-duty tools, drive SES trucks, or cut people out of vehicles – but that isn’t true.
“We have a growing contingent of women in the south west that tackle all the hands-on duties.”
The agency first hosted the Women in Rescue demonstration at Melbourne’s Sunbury unit in 2019 and has since become a staple event in the emergency service calendar.
Deputy Chief Officer Alistair Drayton said in its three years running the program has now expanded state-wide.
“It is brilliant to see our female VICSES leaders continue to showcase their skills through the ‘Women in Rescue’ event,” he said.
“As an agency, VICSES is committed to being an inclusive organisation, it is critical that we reflect the communities we serve, and build the confidence and leadership among our women in orange.”
The event will take place at 130 Messmate Rd, Torquay at 10:15am.