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.