Female firies on the front line: Photos

IN times of crisis, residents covered by the Eppalock group of fire brigades never need to worry about the skill and dedication of their local firefighters.

More than 20 women from 10 brigades attended CFA District 2's second ever women firefighter's training day at the Huntly training ground on Sunday.

Held to develop the skills and confidence of the brigade's women members, the volunteers took part in exercises from motor vehicle accidents to handling service station fires.

They also took on power pole fires, car fires and fire extinguisher handling.

Axedale brigade member Karen Shedden organised the day ahead of a predicted busy fire season.

She said the women's only training session helped to build confidence.

"The aim of the day is to provide women with an opportunity to come together in a relaxed and comfortable environment to develop their firefighting skills," Ms Shedden said.

"When women train together, it really helps them gain confidence."

The members from brigades including Golden Square, Junortoun, Heathcote and Costerfield also took part in a session with the CFA's Peer Support Program.

Mount Camel brigade captain Mick Hall provided support throughout the afternoon.

He said promoting firefighting for women should be a priority.

"I look forward to seeing where we can take this to encourage more women to be part of CFA," Mr Hall said.

"It was a privilege to be part of today and be out on the training ground with such capable firefighters."

One particularly capable firefighter was Mount Camel member Pat Gill.

As the day drew to a close, she was awarded the CFA Women's Award for Extraordinary Role Model to a rousing round of applause.

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