Showing women important fire skills

Showing women important fire skills

10 June 2016

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Australia — In the event of a bushfire, women often need to make crucial decisions to protect their families when their partners may be away.

To help empower women to protect themselves and their families, the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) is inviting women from KANGAROO ISLAND to a free two-day Firey Women workshop to be held on 18th and 19th of JUNE at SEAL BAY Kaiwarra Café.

This award-winning workshop will help participants devise a Bushfire Survival Plan, prepare their properties for bushfire, understand bushfire behaviour and make decisions in the event of a bushfire and learn hands-on skills.

Research and anecdotal evidence shows that there are often differences in firefighting skills, experience and knowledge between men and women. It is not uncommon for women to be left at home to care for children, older relatives, pets and livestock when a fire begins, while their partners are fighting the fire or still at work.

CFS Community Engagement Officer Vanessa Geerts said many people are not prepared for bushfires and underestimated their risk and overestimated their capacity to respond.

“Unless they are thoroughly prepared, women and their families can be in danger if there is a bushfire nearby,” Vanessa Geerts said.

“One of the risks we are particularly concerned about is when people leave their homes too late, such as when they can already see flames, embers or smoke. A car is one of the deadliest places to be in a bushfire and driving conditions are likely to be extremely difficult.”

Participants in the Firey Women workshop learn about bushfire safety and gain practical skills, such as using a farm fire pump and other firefighting equipment, in a safe and non-threatening environment.

The workshops will also offer information on emotional preparation, understanding official bushfire warnings and Fire Danger Ratings, what to expect during a bushfire, and how tostay informed of your risk.

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