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.
FEMALE FIRE FIGHTERS FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER