#INTERVIEW: “FIREFIGHTING IS A PERSONAL CALL FOR ME” -DOOSHIMA DENNIS, FEMALE FIREFIGHTER
You must have seen her by now, the female fire fighter whose picture went viral few months ago, Many people were in doubt when they came across her picture on social media but she is very real and also passionate about her job. Dooshima Dennis studied Mass communication but got motivated to join the fire service after her cousin got burnt to death due to carelessness. She has been in this business for over two years and loves her job passionately, the native of Tiv Benue State shares her story in this exclusive interview.
I’ve always wanted to do something out of the ordinary with myself , something challenging. In fact helping people connect with work and play that makes them happy is a key reason why I do my work with passion. Humanitarian service
Full nature of my job
A typical day for me is quite challenging because no event of fire is identical immediately we receive a distress call and turn out from our station headed towards the scene of incidence and while people are running out of the building we are running in. It’s not an easy job to do, but once you put your mind to it, trust me you can.
My parents’ stand concerning my choice of career
As a young girl, my method of helping others step away from stress was humor , I believe my Angels parent will be proud of what am doing.
This can usually be the tragic effects of a bad situation or event that you strive to prevent or make better ……. and sometimes can’t despite our best efforts, not being able to avert or alleviate people’s suffering at that point in time saddens my heart. Sometimes I just imagine the faces of those I love in the faces of the people we are trying to help ,as I pray to God that my family and loved ones will never be placed in such situation
Doing a job which many people consider as exclusive to men
“The risk firemen go through is extremely high so there’s this belief it’s a man’s occupation (dangerous). Also, there’s a tendency to often think that women’s physique or psychology hasn’t quite gotten what it (takes) to be on the front line.”
For me it is the fact that I am able to become a small link in helping people who are in deplorable conditions and to be able to see the joy in their eyes when they receive aid – especially children, women and men. It brings tears to my eyes. I am happy to be a helping link. They were in a bad situation and because of an intervention they are now able to be in a different situation and that is most rewarding.
Loving my Job
The best part of the job for me is knowing I’m doing my part to make a difference. With all the negatives people tend to attach to us, we’re on the ground to do some good. Whether paid or volunteer, that’s what this job is all about. There will never be a better feeling than knowing you did your part in saving someone’s life, possessions, or home. Thanks to all of the fellow brothers and sisters for doing your part.”
On whether Nigerians are sensitized on how to avoid and manage fire outbreaks
Awareness is on yet a lot of people don’t seem to take heed when it comes to issues of safety as compared to security. So many houses in Nigeria don’t get to meet up safety standards or fire prevention and protection system of a building, yet when there is an incidence of fire we blame the fire services for what’s not. A building should have an alternative exit door, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, fire blankets etc. Every fire starts small except for an explosion and reaction of highly flammable liquids and gases. However, if a fire does break out in a building it is necessary for someone to use the fire extinguishing media to prevent fire spread or extinguish the fire while it’s just developing while u call the fire service. But most people just blame firefighters for what’s not. what’s your line of defence against fire in your house?? Does your house have emergency plan?? Do you have fire service no?? Are there alternative sources of water in your premises/area such as reservoir, hydrants etc. to enable firefighters refill their fire trucks in case they run out of water? Remember every fire starts small and can be prevented if you adhere strictly to safety instructions like, having fire extinguisher, good housekeeping and so on. SAFETY SHOULD BE OUR WATCHWORD and it starts with YOU!!!! A big mansion worth millions or a small bungalow just for you to rest your head after the hectic day at work shouldn’t be neglected in terms of provision of fire safety and prevention gadgets. As it goes prevention is not just better but also cheaper. Awareness is on and we’ll not rest on our oars until we expunge the scourge and manage call fire.
Other projects and activities
As a child I said if one day I can support and help others, I will do it. It was a personal call. Being a humanitarian provides me with the opportunity to exert all effort possible (physical and intellectual) to save lives and give hope to burn victims -affected populations
Who and what inspires me
So often in life, it is hard to feel like we are making any real impact. Doing a good deed is always nice, returning a lost phone to a stranger, buying a homeless person a plate of food, helping an elderly person up or visiting orphanages , these acts all help somebody and make you feel good. But, what if your impact wasn’t just a temporary thing, what if it not only changed somebody’s day, but changed their life?
How I unwind
I work 5 days a week – I like to watch movies, read, visit with family and friends, go shopping and travel. Basically anything that keeps me occupied and that I enjoy doing.
Final word for women who aspire to go into my line of work
Be yourself, stay out of trouble and stay healthy. Be open minded and flexible, willing to try new things and listen to new ideas.
June 24, 2017