Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas

I would like to wish Everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy 2009.

You can still order calendars from the details below.

Remember to have patience at this time of year and drive carefully and safely to your destination.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Calendars make good Christmas Pressies

Don't forget to order your calendar to be sent overseas in time for Christmas. So far many of them are winging their way around the world to countries such as Ireland, Canada, Australia, Italy, USA, England, Germany.
Thank You so much to everyone who has supported the NZ Female Firefighter's and The NZBCF by buying one or more of the calendars. There are still more to sell, details below.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Calendar Orders

To order your 2009 Female FireFighter's Calendar email me at

or Post an order with payment and your return address to
S Nolan, 2 Acton Street, Pleasant Point 7903,

Calendar's are $12.00 each plus postage. New Zealand post is: $1.50 for 1 to 5 Calendars,
$4.00 for 6-10 Calendars
$6.50 for up to 21 Calendars
If ordered by email details will be given on how calendars can be paid for.
Calendars can also be bought by contacting one of the girls in the Calendar.

All proceeds after expenses are taken out will go to
The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Publicity galore

The calendar is really taking off and with all the publicity we have had from Newspapers around the country which also connect to websites for the papers, the calendars are selling like hot cakes, well hot calendars really!!!
The calendar was also mentioned on TVNZ Breakfast thanks to the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation having a launch for their events calendar for October and including some of the Female firefighter's from the calendar in a display in Auckland.
It was also mentioned on Channel 7 news and there is an article in this weeks New Idea (11 Oct 2008), featuring some of the girls.
Liz, Toni and I made the front page of the Timaru Herald on Saturday 4th October and have had lots of positive feedback about appearing in the calendar with our clothes on. It is really unheard of these days for that to happen so I hope we haven't shocked to many people.
Pleasant Point has a ' Get to the Point Day' on the 8th November 2008 and I will be selling calendars there for the day if anyone is interested in getting 1 or 20.
I would like to thank everyone that has bought one for their support. I would really love to present the NZBCF with a really big cheque at the end for a great cause.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Calendar's are being printed

I can't believe we have finally got to this stage of the Calendar. They are now being printed. Lynda Tindall from Pope Print has done a great job with the design and we certainly aren't going with just the traditional calendar design.
Orders are now being taken and the details are on the post below.

If you are interested in joining a New Zealand Fire Brigade call in to your local station and have a chat to one of the firefighters. You will find it to be a very rewarding way to spend your spare time as a volunteer or even make it your new career move and look at how to become a fulltime firefighter.

Daylight saving starts soon so don't forget to renew the batteries in your smoke alarms.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Calendar Orders taken now

You can now order your 2009 Female Firefighter's Calendar by emailing me at
or by contacting one of the girl's through their Fire Station.
Calendar's will be $12.00 each and add $1.50 postage if you want it posted anywhere in New Zealand.
Please pre-pay for calendars when you order to make it easier when distributing.
If ordered by email details will be given to how calendar can be paid for.
All money after Printing and expenses taken out will go to
The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation

Thank You for supporting this great cause.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cover Girls

Pleasant Point and Cave are both in South Canterbury and as we work together in backing each other up at calls, I thought it only fitting to have Toni join Liz and myself for the Calendar. It was quite ironic that on the day our photos were taken we ended up working side by side fighting a vegetation fire where both our Brigades were called to. Toni was still looking very glamorous in her makeup as she thought she might as well get some use out of it and wear it to her part time job, I had gone straight home and taken mine off, the guys would never have let me live it down if I had turned up at a fire with makeup on, on a Sunday evening.
Toni Taylor is 43 and with the Cave Rural Fire Brigade. She has 3 Children and works at the Vet Clinic in Temuka. She is a real animal lover and has been known to adopt an animal or 2 that had no where else to go.
I got Toni to write a few words for the blog and this is what she had to say.
"Hi my name is Toni Taylor and I am part of the Cave Rural Fire Unit. I have been with the Unit for 5 years. I thought it would be a good way of putting something back into the Community.
The Cave Crew are a great bunch of fellas and it is an honour to be part of it.
When I heard about the Calendar I thought what a great way to show women can achieve anything and also a great way to raise money for Breast cancer.
I have a close friend who's sister lost her battle with Breast Cancer, so know close hand how devastating this disease can be. My part in this Calendar is to honour her memory and the fight of so many other woman."

Liz Harding is with the Pleasant Point Volunteer Fire Brigade. She has been with the Brigade for 12 1/2 years and holds the rank of Senior Fire Fighter.
Liz is Pleasant Point's local postie and has had to make a dash to the Station when the siren has gone up. The locals have now learnt some of those early morning calls mean the mail is going to be a little late.
Liz has just finished going for her Heavy Traffic licence so now can drive the Trucks. The next stage is usually a pump operators course so she can drive to the call outs.
She also spent quite a few years on the First response and then as an Ambulance Crew member when Pleasant Point got its own Ambulance.

Well this is me, Shirley Nolan, I have been with the Pleasant point Volunteer Fire Brigade since 2005. I hold the Rank of Fire Fighter. I joined the Brigade when my Hubby and I moved to Pleasant Point. Being a shift worker at Bluebird Foods, Washdyke. Most Brigades are short crewed through the day, especially in small towns where most of the Brigade works out of town. I thought it would be a great way to meet new people in a new town and to also do something to help my new community. I just wish I had joined a Brigade earlier, it can be the most rewarding feeling getting home from a call knowing that you have done everything in your power as a team member, to save a life or property or what ever the call may have been.
I am coming up 50 next month (only in age, certainly not in maturity) I have 4 children and 2 lovely Grand-daughters plus 2 cats.
I live just round the corner from the fire station so when the siren goes up the locals can see me running to get to the station. I especially love it during the day when all the kids from the Play Centre stand at the fence to watch the Fire Engines go out.
The reason I decided to put the calendar together, was looking at last years Fire Fighter's calendar and seeing the only female , a fire fighter herself, looking like she was being rescued. I thought a Female Calendar would help bring more awareness of Females in Brigades, no matter what age, size or occupation etc. It is also a great way to raise the awareness of Breast Cancer and the great job the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation are doing, and raise money for a great cause.
Girls CAN do anything if they really put there minds to it.
I have really enjoyed putting this calendar together. I have met some really fantastic People along the way and would like to Thank all the Girls who posed for the Calendar (I felt like I had known them already, they made me feel so welcome, we had so many laughs), the People that took me, a perfect stranger, into their homes to stay, the Brigades for the help they gave me in getting equipment ready for the shoots and supporting the girls through this and especially my Hubby for letting me take off for weekends to fly all over the country to get the photos I needed.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pope Print

The Calendar is in being designed this week by Lynda Tindall at Pope Print, Timaru. They are also going to Print the Calendar for me. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product. I have gone totally different for the Cover, not using any of the girls already in the Calendar.
I had been asked time and time again if I was going to be in the Calendar and I really thought just taking the photos would be enough. But now I have got Liz, the other Female Fire Fighter in the Pleasant Point Brigade, and Toni, she is with the Cave Rural Fire Brigade ( Cave back us up in a few calls each year) to pose with me. So we are going to be the cover girls. I will do an update and put some photos on the blog soon to introduce us.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pre Ordering Calendars

Pre-ordering your 2009 Female Fire Fighter's Calendar can be done by emailing me at
or by contacting one of the girl's through their Fire Station.
Calendar's will be $12.00 each and add $1.50 postage if you want it posted anywhere inNew Zealand.
Please pre-pay for calendars when you order to make it easier when distributing.
If ordered by email details will be given to how calendar can b paid for.
All money after Printing and expenses taken out will go to

The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Breast Cancer Stories

If anyone has a Breast Cancer story they would like to share please email me on
I will add it to the blog

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mike Hall's Story, My Wife a Breast Cancer Victim

New Zealand Fire Service Chief Executive/National Commander Mike Hall knows the effects Breast Cancer can have on a family, first hand. In 1997 Mike's wife Susan was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She had suffered from benign lumps before so thought nothing of it when she found more lumps in her breasts. Thinking it being the same as before she delayed going to the Doctor for some time. When Susan finally went in for a check up she was diagnosed with breast cancer and her Surgeon said it was one of the more virulent types. They learnt during the illness there are many different types of Breast Cancer tumour, of differing aggression. The lumps were removed but with that not being successful a mastectomy was preformed. Susan went through chemo therapy, losing her hair in the process and then onto daily radiation treatment for six weeks, causing much distress and having to also endure burning to the skin.After such intense treatment it would be safe in thinking that all the cancer would be removed. This was not to be the case for Susan, three months later after noticing some considerable pain, Susan and Mike were told the cancer had spread to her liver. The prognosis was not good, Susan was given three months to live. Susan died three weeks later on the 16th March 1998, aged 51 years, nine months after being diagnosed with Breast Cancer, leaving behind a husband and two young sons 14 and 12 years. Mike was the Regional Commander of the Queensland Fire and Rescue in Australia at the time. They had been together for 22 years and Mike said he had not only lost a wife and lover but also his best friend. They had been upfront with the boys from the start and kept them advised as Susan went through the process of diagnoses and treatments, that their mother could possibly die from this disease. Mike said it will be something the three of them will never forget, and still affects them today, watching their Wife and Mother go through such a horrific time of illness and treatment and not win the battle with Breast Cancer. Mike knows from bitter experience the need for early diagnosis and treatment, and therefore the importance of self screening and regular mammograms.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Last Photos but definately not least

The same wet and wild weekend I took the photos at Manunui I also visited Turangi to take the last photos for the calendar. Turangi is in the Bay-Waikato Fire Region and is about 40mins South of Taupo. Turangi is a Volunteer Fire Brigade and is proud to have 7 females representing it in the calendar.

The girls are as follows:

Rachael Lange 38 years, holds the rank of Fire-Fighter and has been with the Brigade for 5 1/2 years. She is married to a station Officer in the Brigade and has 2 daughters, 19 and 17 years. Rachael works as a Real Estate Agent and has also just become the owner of a Cafe called"Thyme for Food in Turangi's main shopping area. Apart from being a volunteer in the Brigade, she also volunteers at the Taupo Car Race Track as part of the extrication crew. Rachael joined the Fire Service to help her community and was always interested in where the trucks were heading when the siren went off. She also enjoys the social side of the brigade, along with its family involvement. Rachael wanted to be part of the calendar because it was a fantastic idea to raise money for a very good cause, it would be a lot of fun getting together with the rest of the girls for something other than of rushing off to an incident and it will let other females thinking of joining their Brigades know, that no matter what, age, shape or back ground, if you are only available during the day or only at night it is possible to join a Brigade. I stayed with Rachael and her family and was made to feel at home. It is true that the Fire Service is like one big family, no matter where I have been I have felt so welcome.

Hoki Jerry is 33 years. Married with 3 sons aged, 11, 9 and 6. She has been with the Brigade for 5 years and holds the rank of Fire-Fighter. Hoki is very busy holding down 4 jobs. On Monday she is care giver for her father, taking him to Rotorua for dialysis, Wednesday to Friday evenings she is a Pool Attendant at the Hot Pools, Friday she works for CCS and during the school holidays works at Burger King.
Hoki joined the Brigade because of her love for people and love of helping people when in need. She thought doing the calendar would be fun to pose with the rest of the girls and let New Zealanders know, Girls can do anything.

Jo Cole is Turangi's newest recruit. She is 47 years, has a partner of 15 years and 1 son. She joined the Brigade 5 months ago and still has her basic training to go through. She delivers the Dominion Post from Turangi to Auckland, and joined because she had time to spare and was getting bored when not working so thought it would be a good chance to give something back to the community. She said the Fire Brigade is a new interest for her and is thoroughly enjoying learning new skills through the training she is doing for her basics course. Jo said the camaraderie is brilliant and its like having a new big family.

Gabrielle (Gabby) Packer is 45 Years. She is married to a Fire-Fighter in the Brigade. They have 6 children between them , all have left home now, and Gabby also has 4 Grandchildren. Gabby has been with the Brigade for 11 months and is ranked a Fire-Fighter. She works as a Case Manager. Her husband wanted her to join the Brigade so they had an interest together.
She said it was an awesome choice and wished she had done it 20 years ago.

Michelle (Micky) Sherwood is 38 years and has been with the Brigade for 12 years. She is a Senior Fire-Fighter and is a Driver for the Brigade. Mickey has a partner but no children, she reckons she's allergic to them. Mickey has been working for the Taupo District Council for 20 years and drives the the trucks, tractors and front end loader. She joined the Brigade for the challenge and as she had been working along side the guys in other areas it made it easier knowing most of them. Mickey has been in the Drivers Challenge and also the Combat Challenge in the 2 person team. It was a great buzz to participate and finish the course. She thought posing for the calendar would be fun and never having worn makeup took it as another challenge. As for the cause Mickey thinks if it helps in the education against
Breast Cancer then all the girlie stuff is worth it, even if it means wearing a pink t-shirt at some stage.

Samantha (Sam) Hicks is 33 years is married to a Fire Fighter in the Brigade and has 3 children. She joined with her husband 18months ago but not long after joining found she was pregnant so has not long finished her basic training. She joined for the excitement, social side and so that her and hubby had an interest to pursue together. Sam works 3 -4 days a week as a Nanny and 3-4 nights a week waitressing. She said joining the Brigade was
the best thing she has ever done after marriage and having a family.

Catherine Carmichael is 34 years and has been with the brigade for 11 months. She is ranked as a Fire Fighter. Catherine is a Dispensary Technician. She joined the Fire service because she had some spare time so decided to use it to give back to her community.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wild Weather this weekend

I couldn't have picked a worse weekend to travel. I had rain, gale force winds, snow and did I mention rain. I guess I was pretty lucky considering most places lost power and flights were cancelled. The Fire Brigades all over the Country were busy with multiple call outs. I made it to my destination in one piece and got the photos I needed.
I was in Manunui on the weekend, it is 7km from Taumarunui in the Western Fire Region of the North Island. Susan (Sue) Burton is with the Manunui Volunteer Fire Brigade. She is 44 years and has been with the Brigade for 12 years. Sue is a Station Officer and her partner (19 years service), son (5 years service) and niece ( 2 years service) are all on the same Brigade. She has 3 children aged 24, 22 and 16 and has just recently become a Grandmother for the first time. Sue works as a Meter Reader with the local electricity department and it can be a bit hard getting to some of the calls as the meters need to be read on time. She is a real sports fanatic and plays netball, squash and soccer. She decided to join the Brigade when she was being helped by the Fire Brigade during flooding and thought it would be a great way to be able to help out others also. Sue also likes a challenge and the call outs that come her way can be that most of the time. Sue had her hair and makeup done for free by, Jo at Classique Hair Design, 47 Hakiaha St, Taumarunui. and Jackie from One 2 One, Total Beauty and Body Care, 5 Hakiaha St, Taumarunui
I stayed with the Deputy Chief, Kevin Shaw and his wife Sharon, they made me feel most welcome. The next morning we weren't sure if I was going to get to my next destination for photos but the weather had eased off a bit by morning so I was on my way.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pre Orders

Pre-ordering your 2009 Female Fire Fighter's Calendar can be done by emailing me at

or by contacting one of the girl's through their Fire Station.

Calendar's will be $12.00 each and add $1.50 postage if you want it posted anywhere in
New Zealand.
Please pre-pay for calendars when you order to make it easier when distributing. If ordered by email details will be given to how money can be paid.

All money after Printing and expenses taken out will go to

The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation

Arapawa Fire Region North Island

The weather wasn't so kind to me this weekend. I guess I spoke to soon last post. It was raining when I left home, early Saturday morning to catch another flight to the North Island and was raining when I got to my destination, Palmerston North, to head to the Otaki Volunteer Fire Station in the Arapawa Fire Region. Otaki is in the Kapiti Coast District and is half way between Wellington and Palmerston North. Angela Weir, 23years, is representing Otaki, has the rank of Senior Fire Fighter and has been with the Brigade there for 8 months. She joined the Fire Service in Rahotu, with her Dad when she was 17, giving her 5 years of service. It had taken her a year to convince her father she was serious about joining. It made her more determined to join when she kept getting told she wouldn't be able to do it, being a girl. She used to leave school classes to attend fire calls. Ange works at the Comm Centre in Wellington, taking the 111 calls and dispatching the Fire Brigades to the call destinations. She travels back to Otaki when not working shifts to attend calls when the siren goes up. She prefers to travel to her job so she can still be a volunteer. Ange has lost a good friend through Breast cancer, leaving behind a young family. She is passionate about helping any cause for cancer as her Nana is currently battling bowel cancer. She joins in the Walk for Life each year to help support the cause. Ange's sister Stacey came along to help with hair and makeup and making sure she smiled properly for the photos.
It is great to see the passion and devotion from each of the Female Fighters that are representing their Stations and Fire Regions and hope it inspires more females to join the Brigades in their districts. The support from the guys in the Brigades is easily noticed with the help they have been putting in to get this calendar together. It really is like having a second family.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

9 down 3 stations to go

Well another great weekend and the weather has been so good to me. I travelled down to the Southern Fire Region to Frankton Volunteer Fire Brigade in the Queenstown Fire District. The Frankton Fire Station must have one of he most beautiful out looks in New Zealand. The Lake and snow capped Remarkables can be viewed standing at the Station. Frankton has not long updated its truck to nearly brand new and is a Fire-Crash Rescue Appliance.
The 2 girls I photographed for the calendar are Donna Sullivan and Rebecca (Becz) Wylie.
Donna is 39, married with 2 teenage daughters. She has been with the Fire Service for 6 years, spending 10 months at the Hawarden Fire Brigade before moving to Frankton where her husband set up business flying Para gliders in Queenstown. She is a Qualified Fire-fighter and joined the Brigades to help her community. Donna took part in the first ever all Women Road Crash Rescue Team in 2004 along with the girls from Queenstown, as the cutter, they gained 2nd to the Champions in the unlimited event. She has also had a go at the very physical Combat Challenge for the first time this year with Becz and they certainly didn't embarrass themselves, both finishing the course.
Donna works in the Queenstown Branch of the ANZ Bank. She has a Brown Belt in Shotokan Karate and also has a vast knowledge about all aspects of the training and management of horses.
Becz is 25 years and been with the Frankton Brigade for 10months. Her rank is Fire Fighter. Becz has wanted to be a fire-fighter since she was a little squirt. She said she was initially put off in her teenage years as people would laugh at her contemplating the thought, often saying that she wouldn't be able to handle it being too small and anyway it was a blokes thing! Well they should be eating their words now, she is part of a great team and has the passion and determination to move up the ranks. She was with the Ambulance Service for 1 1/2 years. She works at the Frankton Dental Surgery as a Dental Assistant and her boss Judy Sim lets her go to the calls when ever the siren goes. Becz loves the outdoors and its many activities such as white water kayaking, mountain biking, tramping and at the moment her boyfriend is teaching her to ski. She also likes to do a bit of Highland dancing.
Before we headed out to the photo shoot, the girls had their make up and hair done by Paulette Meikle of Paulette-Anne Hair Design, Queenstown, Phone 0276554011
After the photos were taken the girls decided I needed to do something Queenstown, my first thoughts were, I'm not jumping off a perfectly good bridge on a rubber band, but thankfully they kept closer to land and surprised me with a boat ride on the Shotover Jets. Thanks girls for the great experience, I have always been too chicken to do it, Wow I loved every minute of it. Also Thank You to Shotover Jets for their generosity to the 3 of us, it was very much appreciated.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

3 Stations in one Weekend

Its been a really busy time getting the photos for the next 3 Stations. I left home at 4.20am Saturday morning in cold, frosty conditions heading for Christchurch Airport, to fly to Auckland to cover 3 Fire Regions.
The first was a flight to Kerikeri to meet up with Jo Sweet Bennett of the Kaeo Volunteer Fire Brigade in the Northern Fire Region, of the North Island, a 40min flight from Auckland, in the Bay of Islands. Jo is 39, the first woman to join Kaeo Brigade, a Senior Station Officer (SSO) and has been with the Brigade for 9 years. She is married and works fulltime as a Dairy Farmer and Landscaper. Jo has no children but loves to get in behind the youth of Kaeo and help them onto the right track in life. She has a love of art and animals. Jo saw an empty section going to waste in Kaeo so started a market which runs once a month. Jo joined the Brigade to help her community. Kaeo is a lovely small Community, it has had devastation with flood after flood. The fire station is still being renovated after last July's flood having gone through it. The station sits on the banks of the river. The Brigade has also had to attend a fatal crash involving one of their own members, Jo said that is the worst feeling ever but the job still had to be done.
On the way to getting the photos taken we called in to a Salon to get Jo's make up done, Bodydivine, by beauty therapist Suzy Poole.Local Journalist, Fiona Robinson met us at the station to do an interview for the local papers. After getting the shot we wanted for the calendar, Jo showed me around the area and got me back just intime to catch the plane back to Auckland to my next destination for photo no. 2.

Howick Fire Station is in the Auckland Fire Region. It is a composite Station, meaning it is run by Permanants and Volunteers. The station has a Lighting Van which it uses to assist other emergency services. Erin Hudson, 45years, has been a Volunteer at Howick Brigade for 3 years and holds the rank of Qualified Fire Fighter (QFF). She can also drive if called upon. She is married with 3 Children and works as a Naturopath/Herbalist, Teaches at the Naturals Therapies College and also teaches at the Pakuranga Childrens Health Camp. Erin has lived in the area for 35years and her reason for joining in her own words " I joined initially as a reason to get fit. It was also a chance to join a community group that did not involve women, committees and being politically correct. I now find the ongoing learning about matters of which i previously did not even know existed to be very enlightening. Each week at training I learn something new". We had to work with the weather on Erin's shot and had help from one of her brigade members to help re-arrange trucks, equipment etc and telling Erin what she should or should not be doing for her pose. The end result would not have been printable.
I stayed with Erin and her family and was looked after very well and given a tour of Auckland as I had not been there before. I was even lent the spare car to use to drive down to my next shoot. Its just great how welcoming these families are to a perfect stranger.

The 3rd photo call was at Thames Volunteer Fire Brigade, one 0f 2 Stations representing the Bay-Waikato Fire Region. Thames is in the Coromandel Peninsula, about an hours drive from Auckland. Brittnee Obrien is 18years and been with the Thames Brigade from the day she turned 16. She holds the rank of Fire fighter and is looking to do her QFF in August. At the moment Brittnee is studying Psycology an Sociology at Auckland University and hopes to continue her career in the Fire Service using her Psycology Degree. She travels to Thames every Thursday night for practice to stay current in the brigade. She is also available when on breaks from study or holidays. Brittnee has wanted to be a Fire Fighter since she was 11 and as soon as she turned 16 turned up at the station. She used to run from class to the station whenever the siren went off for a callout. Her Mum Colleen is so supportive of her being in the brigade, she is up and has the car running whenever the siren goes off through the night, taking Brittnee to the station as she doesn't have her licence yet. Little brother Raymond goes along as well and is usually sound asleep during the whole thing. Colleen said she will be out on the streets selling the calendars as soon as they are available. I stayed with the family and got a night time tour of Thames and some lovely hospitality while I was there. Brittnee got her hair done by Amanda Willetts of Bronnies Hair Studio, Pollen St, Thames and make up by Nicola Olesen of Kimberley's Beauty Therapy, 721 Pollen St, Thames. After we got the photos we wanted we headed back to Brittnee's for some lovely hot scones and a cuppa before I plugged in the navman to help me find my way back to Howick and Erin who took me to some other places of interest in Auckland before driving me to the airport to head home.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Visited Fire Station No 5

Another weekend another photo shoot, my poor hubby is starting to think he is living alone as I flit around the country taking photos for the 2009 Calendar. This weekend I headed to Duntroon in the Southern Fire Region of the South Island. Duntroon is about 30 minute drive from Oamaru in North Otago. It is a Volunteer Station, with at present 9 Volunteers. They have 2 Females in their Brigade.
Marion Baird is 61 years and has been in the Brigade for 20years, She said she is pretty much Mum to the Brigade, doing all those jobs, ie sewing, cleaning, organising etc and she holds the rank of Senior Fire-Fighter, drives the Appliance when needed and has also been the Brigade Secretary for 22 years. Marion is married to the Fire Chief, Lawson Baird. They run the local School Bus Company, both driving the School children to and from their schools. She actually joined to help man the Comm centre of the station but found to do that she had to be a firefighter. Once she trained then there was no point in just manning the radios, she could go out on the calls. Marion has 2 Daughters, 1 who was a Fire Fighter with the Brigade till she moved away, and 5 Grandchildren.
Marion is a Breast Cancer Survivor, she lost a Breast to cancer at the age of 44, 3 years after becoming a Fire-fighter. She is such an inspiration, showing that life can go on with the right attitude and support, helping others in their time of need. Her eldest daughter is also a Breast Cancer Survivor, having lost a breast to cancer 9 years ago at age 29.
Sally Pilbrow is 61 and is an Operational Support Person with the Duntoon Brigade. Sally has been in the Brigade for 18months and joined after her Husband Geoff Pilbrow, also a member of the Brigade, passed away on the Fire Ground due to a Massive Heart Attack in 2006. She joined partly to fill Geoff's position as OS and partly for companionship.
Sally bides her time between Timaru, where she works part-time as a Craniosacral Therapist, and Duntroon for some time off and to help the Brigade out when the siren goes off.
Sally has 2 sons and 2 Grandchildren.
On arriving at the Station on a chilly Sunday morning, my niece who come along for company, and myself were greeted with date scones and mousetraps for morning tea. Betty Eckhardt, who helps with catering at the station had made sure we weren't hungry before we started taking the photos. After we got the photo we wanted we were treated to a lovely BBQ lunch also at the Station and got to meet more of the Brigade.
I have been so overwhelmed with the hospitality shown by each Station as I meet the applicants for the first time, while on my journey to put this calendar together.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Another Photo for the Calendar...

Another weekend of travelling,this trip included some flying. The next Female Firefighter is from the Eastern Fire Region of the North Island, coming from the Taradale Volunteer Fire Brigade. Taradale is part of Napier City and also close to Hastings. I flew into Napier at just after mid-day Saturday the 14th June, to lovely sunny weather and happy I hadn't decided to wear my thermals. I was met at the airport by Elissa Cairns and her children Kristen, 5 and Jay, 3. Elissa is married and a Station Officer with the Taradale Brigade. She has been in the Brigade 13 years and juggles her 2 children and a part-time job at Bunnings, with turning out for the Brigade.
While Elissa and I were at the Station being interviewed for an article in the Napier Mail, Elissa's pager went off, that was pretty much the end of the interview while she got the Appliance ready and headed off to the call. Elissa being a Station Officer was in charge of the Incident. It happened again later as we were sitting down for dinner, I ended up babysitting, while Elissa did what she joined the brigade to do. I stayed with Elissa's parents, Ian and Christine Cairns, for the Saturday Night. They have a lovely big house on a few acres in Taradale, where they run some well looked after sheep and also open as a Bed and Breakfast when called upon.
Sunday morning turned out to be another lovely day so after getting her hair done.. by Julie Thomas, Owner/Stylist of Hairapy. Makeup by Paula Burden, and some help from a couple of the boys from the Brigade, we headed off to get the next lot of photos for the Calendar.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Snow in the South Island

I'm really pleased I wasn't out and about on the roads this weekend, the South Island got hit by snow again but not as bad as the 2006 snow. It was bad enough to disrupt traffic, but luckily we didn't have the power outages and didn't have to spend the day at the Fire Station on multiple call outs. Please take Care when driving in the icy conditions, "Getting somewhere a little late is better than not getting there at all".

Monday, June 2, 2008

Queen's Birthday Weekend

Taking advantage of the long weekend, Hubby and I drove a round trip of 1270km to the Mapua Fire Station, situated 30mins from Nelson in the Arapawa Fire Region of the South Island. There we were treated to some great hospitality by Firelady Ella Evans and her family.We were treated to a lovely meal and watched the Crusaders beat the Waratahs in the Super 14. Well done the Crusaders. Ella has the rank of Fire Fighter and first joined as a Volunteer in the Geraldine Brigade in 1999. She moved to the Lyttelton Brigade where she met her Husband, Grant, who is also a Fire Fighter and they moved to the Mapua Brigade where they have been for 1 year. Ella is a full time Mum, with 5 children so has had some time off for maternity leave. She has just redone her basic training and is ready for a callout if the siren goes, that is if she can get out the door before Grant. Ella has a passion for motorbikes, she has one of her own that you can see in her photo.
Ella also wanted me to let you all know why she become a volunteer, in her own words......
"I love the team work, community spirit and learning new things. I believe it is setting a good example to my children, especially my daughters. I want them to grow up knowing that gender and age is not a barrier to doing anything that you set your heart on."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why the Breast Cancer Foundation??

I have often been asked why I chose the Breast Cancer foundation as this years Charity. I don't think we can have too much Publicity on something that can affect everyones life so dramatically. We all have a Mother, Mother in Laws, Wives, Sisters, Grandmothers, Aunties, Nieces, Cousins, friends etc that can be touched by Breast Cancer at some stage in their life. I have had it touch my family more than once. I just want people to be aware that early detection can save lifes and doing a monthly Breast check for lumps is a good way to start along with regular Mamograms. This Calendar is just another way to make people aware of Breast Cancer, to raise money to help Breast cancer Sufferers by finding a cure, or new treatments. This calendar will be ready to be launched in October, NZ Breast Cancer Month.

Photos of our first Fireladies

I have introduced a photo of the first Female Firefighters to be photographed for the Calendar. These photos are just to introduce you to the Ladies, they are not the photos for the Calendar.
Kerri from Kirwee Station
Jill and Karen from Rakaia Station.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

First Photos have been Taken

After driving a 320km round trip from Pleasant Point, South Canterbury, the first 2 photos for the Calendar have been taken.
The first stop was at a small country Fire Rescue Station, Kirwee, 25 mins West of Christchurch in the Transalpine Fire District, Canterbury Region.
Our Female Firefighter, Kerri Pring is aged 21 years, has the Rank of Senior Firefighter, completing the course in January, and has been in the Fire Service as a Volunteer for just over 4 years. Kerri is the daughter of Kirwee's DCFO Andy Pring. She said it is a very family orientated station with family members and partners all part of the Brigade. Kerri has a son Jordy who will be 2 in July. She also works part-time Dairy Farming.
The second photo taken is also in the Transalpine Fire Region. Rakaia is a Fire Rescue Station, 50km South of Christchurch in the Canterbury Region.
Jill Tomlin and Karen Lowry are our two Firefighters from Rakaia. They are both Drivers and operate the pumps upon arriving at a Call out.
Jill is in her 40s, is married to a Firefighter ( her motto is: if you can't beat em, join em) also of the Rakakia Volunteer Brigade and holds the Rank of Firefighter. They have 1 teenage son and also run their own full time business. Jill is also active in the Firewise Programme and has been in the Brigade for 5 years.
Karen is in her 40s, she has been with the Fire Service for 10 years and has been at the Rakaia Brigade for 1 year, where her partner is also a Firefighter. They have 7 children between them and both work Full time. They are both active in the Firewise Programme. Karen is a Senior Firefighter, which means she gets to be in the front seat and make the decisions at the callouts if first on the scene.
Jill and Karen had their hair and makeup done at "a la mode" Hair Design, Railway Tce, Rakaia, by Rachael Marriott.
While we were at the Salon the fire siren went off and of course being a true NZ Firefighter that she is, Jill took off from her chair, hair freshly done, got to the Station, took the call, got on the truck and off to the call before Rach had time to check that she liked the style. It sounds like it is a regular occurrence, that's the second time Jill has left before her hair has been finished. Karen was not able to go as she was waiting for her foils to set. She was gutted. That is one time its not good to drop everything and race to a call. I managed to make it to the Station also and actually got to sit in the truck before I got stood down to let one of the Rakaia Firefighters have the seat. We eventually got the photos taken in the afternoon, in cold, wet conditions.

Check Out the photos of the Fire Stations and their stats, right >>>>>>>>

Sunday, May 18, 2008

First Photos

The first photos for the calendar will be taken on the 23rd and 24th May. A full list of the Firefighters and Stations will be revealed soon.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Calendar is on its way

2009 NZ Female Firefighters Calendar is in the making. Updates will be added each week.