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.