A very unique event happened in Harbour Breton on May 5 and 6 as the Harbour Breton Volunteer Fire Department held a two-day defensive training course. While the course in itself was not unusual, the fact that two women took part made the exercise historic.
Heidi Hunt and Vicki Hillyard made history recently as they are the first two women to ever join the community’s fire department.
The two women joined hundreds of their counterparts across the province who have decided to get involved in their communities in this manner.
Hillyard said, “I’ve been a resident of Harbour Breton for just about 30 years, and I thought it’s time I gave back to the community. This activity is very challenging and rewarding, and I’m looking forward to being a part of this group well into the future.”
Hunt said, “I enjoy being a first-time responder in my role with the Harbour Breton Ambulance Service. I really like that work, and I’m looking forward to my role with the fire department.”
The two women, along with new recruits Stephen Casey and Robert Hynes, learned the basics of defensive firefighting in the two-day program.
Anthony Casey, the Harbour Breton Fire Chief, said” This course is the basic step that all volunteers take on their way to becoming professional firefighters. We’re happy to have all the new recruits with us as they will definitely be assets to this department as we move into the future.”
During the training activity, the recruits learned about topics like fire control, portable extinguishers, ropes and knots, firefighter personal protective equipment and rescue and extrication.