Women in Rescue breaks record

VICSES’ Women in Rescue event at Cobram (Chris Manning).

Female State Emergency Service (VICSES) volunteers from the Hume region came together in Cobram, as part of the organisations’ largest VICSES Women in Rescue (WIR) event, doubling the number of last year’s participants.

Founded in 2018, the WIR event was established for female volunteers, by female volunteers and took place at six locations across Victoria.

The event in Cobram on March 16, was the host to almost 40 female VICSES volunteers, with approximately 250 state-wide, growing significantly from last year.

VICSES chief executive Greg Leach said doubling the participant size is magnificent for the women attending, as well as women from other agencies.

“It’s fantastic we can provide these members with an environment to work together, train and learn from each other,” he said.

“The aim of the event is to knowledge share, so the women can experiment with different techniques and handling of equipment and share this back within the agency and their fellow volunteers.

“Our female first responders at VICSES are incredible, and attend highly complex, challenging incidents. [The] event showcases their life-saving skills, using the latest rescue technology and training.”

The day focused on the hands-on, practical components of rescue operations, with a variety of specialised training and exercises to cover the diverse capabilities volunteers require during different emergencies.

The event also aims to promote gender inclusion, diversity and encourage recruitment and retention of female VICSES volunteers.

Currently, almost 34 per cent of VICSES’ volunteers are female and VICSES said it would love to boost that figure to ensure it reflects the communities it serves.