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Exhibition 35 years in the making

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22 Oct 2018
The vital role of women in emergency services will be honoured when MFB launches its inaugural exhibition at ACMI today.

The exhibition celebrates 35 years since the organisation first opened its doors to operational women and pays tribute to their important contribution to Victoria’s fire and rescue service.

The first operational women joined MFB as Communications Operators, today known as Fire Services Communications Controllers, in 1983. The first training course comprised nine women and three men – these were the first women to take on operational roles at MFB in 92 years.

Five years later in 1988, MFB welcomed the first female firefighters into its ranks. Three women joined up initially. Today, MFB is fortunate to have 75 female firefighters and is actively looking to recruit more.

The new exhibition features photos, interviews and historical research to capture the stories of just some of the women who have helped shape MFB.

MFB Chief Officer Dan Stephens said he was proud of the contribution of women to the organisation.

“I have been a firefighter for 28 years and I can say without fear of contradiction that MFB firefighters, both women and men, are among the best in the world.

“Today MFB is richer for the contribution our operational women have made.

“This exhibition has been not only many months in the making but many years and I’d like to thank the women and men who not only shared their stories but who contributed to making MFB the organisation it is today.”

The exhibition will be open to the public at ACMI’s The Cube from 12pm – 5pm on Monday and will travel around Melbourne and Victoria throughout 2019.

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