Length of Service in CFA : Brigade 20 years, Peer 13 years
What attracted you to CFA?
Moving from the city, I joined the CFA to meet people, feel part of the community and become involved in the rural small town issues.
What made you become a Peer Coordinator?
It was another avenue of CFA that I thought that my life experiences might be of use. I have known people who have worked as Peer Coordinators and could see that the values we both had were similar. We don’t want to be heroes, we just want to go about our normal day helping people. It’s a job where you can tap into your own background and experience to help people.
What are some of the situations that you have dealt with?
As a Peer Coordinator, you are involved in anything that happens in the community – fatal accidents, suicide, work place accidents, motor vehicle accidents, being involved in strike teams etc.
What would a typical week look like for you as a Peer Coordinator?
There is no such thing as a ‘typical week’ in this role, it is constantly changing. There are some weeks where it can be really quiet and you might not be contacted and other weeks you may be called out 3-4 times.
What are some of the best things about your role?
There are so many things that I enjoy about this role. It would be the friendships you make. Also that you could meet somebody somewhere and they will remember you and come and talk to you. It’s nice to be appreciated for doing simple little things – like giving somebody a foot rub, going to the hospital, having a chat and just giving support while they are going through a tough time.
What are some of the worst things about your role?
Late nights and sleep deprivation! Sometimes there will be a call out around 10.30pm and you have to get in the car and travel to the location and then you will be waiting for the incident to be cleared which can take some time. You could get home at 2am after a call out.
What do you do outside of CFA (hobbies/work)?
I like to walk the dogs every morning, talk to the chooks and doing a bit of gardening. I’m learning French for when I go overseas. I also make my own wine, but not using grapes. I use fruits or mints.
How do you make sure you ROK?
Doing something creative. It might be gardening, cooking nice meals, learning French or being with friends.
Do you have any advice for other CFA members?
Advice that I would give would be that being a peer is not a box to tick; it’s a life time thing. You need to become aware and understand what you, as a person likes and wants to do. Feeling good about yourself and enjoying it will help you help others.
RUOK Day will be held on the 13th September 2012. RUOK Day is dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask those around them "RUOK?". Visit the website to get ideas on how to ask friends, family and colleagues "RUOK?". You might also like to host your own RUOK Day event at your Brigade or workplace. Visit www.ruokday.com for more information