25 years on Cork city's first female firefighter says the job is still an honour 

25 years on Cork city's first female firefighter says the job is still an honour 

Irene Wallace, Station Officer in Ballyvolane. Picture Credit: Still from video posted by Cork City Fire Brigade.

The first female firefighter to join Cork City Fire Brigade has said she still finds the job 'magical' after 25 years of service.

Irene Wallace, now a Station Officer in Ballyvolane, said being a firefighter is "like being part of a family" and says she could not imagine doing any other job. 

"I became a firefighter because as a child I was very active. I loved sport. 

"I was a member of St John’s Ambulance as a child. I loved being part of a team. 

"Then I went on to join Civil Defence and it was a great stepping stone to show me the actual diversity and range of the service within the Fire Service," she explained. 

Irene says she loves the diversity of the job and the fact that "every day and every night shift is different". 

She said the job is still "magical" to her, despite its challenges. 

"There are bad days, unfortunately. 

"It’s part of our job but we’re very lucky within Cork City Fire Brigade we’re very team ordinated," she said. 

"We have each other to lean on during those bad days." 

Speaking about what she loves about the job Irene says she enjoys "the adventure within the job" and working with the public. 

"I enjoy serving the community on behalf of Cork City Fire Brigade. 

"I’m honoured to serve the people of Cork city", she added. 

Irene’s comments come as last week the fire service launched a new recruitment drive for full time firefighters, asking new recruits to 'Be the Difference' for the city they will serve. 

This is the first time that the fire service has opened to new recruits in eight years. 

Up to 20 firefighters will initially be recruited, with a panel being established from which future recruits will be drawn. Speaking about the recruitment drive, Chief Fire Officer John Ryan said the fire service is hoping to draw the "very best from across the community" - people who are "willing to be the difference". 

The deadline to submit an application for the position of firefighter with Cork City Fire Brigade can be submitted is 4pm on Friday, September 25 2020. 

Further information is available through www.corkcity.ie/recruitment.

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