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Following in the family's footsteps

Sophie Maher is currently 1st Lieutenant at Red Cliffs Fire Brigade and also a Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) firey. She spoke about how her passion for CFA first started and why she continues to keep volunteering

“I first joined CFA in 2009 as a Junior member,” Sophie said. “My dad was a real CFA supporter and was with the brigade for over 48 years.
“I have 10 siblings and we have all been part of the brigade at some point in our lives, and it’s really because of the passion my dad had.”
Sophie spent two years in the Junior brigade before stepping up to seniors.
“I’ve stayed with CFA for over 10 years now and I guess It’s because I love being a part of the community and helping. A lot of people play sports, but I fight fires.
"Volunteering with CFA is different, it’s really about giving back.
“My husband and I actually first met at CFA,” she added. “He was a DELWP firey at the time as well and he encouraged me to apply for a job there as I loved firefighting, so I thought why not.
“When I first got the job, DELWP and CFA were quite separate. Now there are a fair few volunteers who also work at DELWP so we have a few points of contact. Our brigade and DELWP have a really great relationship and we often work alongside each other.
“Having experience in CFA definitely helped me when I first started in my role at DELWP. Although they are quite different, I was able to pick things up quite easily.
“My job now actually helps me as a volunteer too,” she added.
“As we deal with a lot of wildfires in DELWP, I’m able to bring this knowledge back to the brigade."
While on a call-out Sophie saw the perfect composition for a photo – a sunset, a big red truck and her siblings – and couldn’t resist taking a beautiful shot (see photo below).
“The photo is actually of my little brother Lockie and also Joel and Rhianna. We were responding to a fire at a local water treatment facility. There were a lot of hazardous trees so we weren’t able to do much. That’s why I took the shot, and I’m glad I did. It’s awesome.
"Joel and Rhianna are siblings too who have also followed in their dad’s footsteps by joining the brigade.
“The passion for CFA is really past down through generations; it becomes part of your family. I’m really thankful for CFA and what it’s given me and I hope that I’ve been able to give back too.”

Pictured Sophie Mahar with her dad Glenn.

This article has been republished from CFA News and Media. 

About VFBV: VFBV is established under the Country Fire Authority Act and is the peak body for CFA Volunteers in Victoria. VFBV works tirelessly to represent, advocate and support CFA volunteers to the CFA Board and management, governments, ministers, members of parliament, councils, instrumentalities, business and the public. Our vision is for Strong Volunteerism, Embraced to Build Community Resilience for a Safer Victoria.

This article is part of our series celebrating women in CFA for International Women's Day.


Read 4628 times Last modified on Tuesday, 15 March 2022 16:17
CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.