Tanya Gerbrandt is the administrative assistant at Morden Fire and Rescue, and the volunteer radio operator and dispatcher for fire calls. 

In efforts to create camaraderie within the Morden Firefighting community, Gerbrandt with the help of friends began a Fire Fighters Ladies Group. This group has grown into something special. 

“We just decided to start up a group to get together; get to know each other”, says Gerbrandt, but it has turned into much more. Not only do they get together regularly to play games and have some fun, but they have also been able to get a little taste of what their fire-fighting partners do."

“We have been doing some firefighting type activities. The very first thing we did was spray water. So, we set up some targets in front of the fire hall and used the hose to [learn] what the pressure was like when they are fighting a fire. We've also done vehicle extraction, so we've got to use the jaws of life. We've also [learned about] car fires. We had several of our instructors and a few other members that were there to assist with that evening as well.” 

The most recent event for the ladies was a chance to climb the 75-foot fire ladder. 

“Everybody made an attempt at climbing the ladder. They showed us how to harness up with the safety harness, so, we were all strapped in safely.” 

Gerbrandt did not quite make it to the top, she laughed, “My knees got pretty weak three quarters of the way up, so I didn't [make it to the top], but the rest of the girls did. So, kudos to them.” 

morden fire ladies

The ladies group have been enjoying learning more about what their fire-fighting partners do behind the scenes.  

“They really enjoy it. Learning. And everything is hands on. Being able to operate the tools themselves. We started out with the one activity the very first time, and then they asked for more. So, it’s been really good.” 

Gerbrandt encourages all to check out pictures of the Morden Fire and Rescue Ladies Group on their social media pages. 

"We've had a good reaction from other fire departments when we post about our ladies night. Other departments across Canada have started their own type of thing from those posts. We've got lots of positive feedback and just lots of cheering on and encouragement. So, it's been a really good thing for us here in Morden, for our fire firefighting community. We have had great response from other departments across province and across Canada.” 

Click below to hear the full interview with Tanya Gerbrandt and Connie Bailey.