A NEWCOMER to the Skye community has got stuck right into helping fellow residents by volunteering for the local Country Fire Authority brigade.
Camille Pola recently moved from Warrnambool to the Frankston suburb and was inspired to volunteer to learn new skills and pitch in to the community.
The 26-year-old financial planner is the first woman to join the Skye brigade in a decade.
“I’d just moved to the area and didn’t really know anyone and wanted to find something to do,” Ms Pola said.
“I was going to join a netball team but I thought the CFA was better for the community.”
Ms Pola officially started as a volunteer in June and has completed her minimum skills training and continues to train alongside her fellow volunteers every Monday night.
“I love it, it’s good fun and I’ve learned a lot about tankers and trucks but more importantly about teamwork and learning to communicate with other people,” she said.
“Everyone has been very friendly and it’s not difficult at all.”Last week the brigade hosted cross training with Coast Guard members, following similar joint exercises with SES volunteers.
New brigade captain Troy Wallace said he hopes more women will sign up as CFA volunteers at Skye.
The CFA brigade trained with Coast Guard members last week after similar joint exercises with State Emergency Services volunteers.
“We’re only a relatively small brigade with 32 members but our volunteers are well trained and equipped to manage anything that comes our way,” Mr Wallace said.
The Skye brigade has experienced a 25 per cent rise in calls over the past four years and now responds to about 260 incidents a year, along with supporting the CFA’s surge capacity across Victoria.