22 May, 2021
The women making Gilgandra proud
A stand out from the exercise were the Gilgandra brigade team, a group of solely women, winning the Alan Brinkworth perpetual trophy for best performing crew.
The north eastern and north western RFS areas conducted the annual field exercise at Glen Innes back in March 2021.
Alongside the women, Gilgandra’s captain of the brigade Mark Sandry, won TJ’s award for best strike team leader.
The women behind the best performing crew have won this particular award consecutively over the past few years, and as operations support officer, Graham Bunyan states, “the trucks have needed less servicing since the girls have been around.”
The Gilgandra crew all dress in unicorn onesies when they are off call. It was originally designed as an unsettling factor for during off times when they are there at night.
“They wear them to bars, to tea and so forth. People thought it was all very cute,” said Mr Bunyan.
“But when they get out of those and get into their work gear, that’s when they show that they can actually do the job.”
The crew at Gilgandra come out strong at the field exercise, year in and year out.
“One of the marshals had seen them in their onesies on the Friday night, and treated them as a bit of a joke,” said Mr Bunyan.
“When they arrived to go through one of his parts of the exercise at the field day, he just ignored them. He thought, ‘oh these girls, they dressed silly last night.’ He turned around and they were standing there, and he said, ‘come on! You want to get moving you won’t get it done!’ – and they said, it is done. He looked at it and said, how did you do that? Who taught you to do that?”
Never underestimate a firefighter in a unicorn onesie.