The Pioneers 30 and Beyond: An Historical Development: Trinidad and Tobago's First-ever Female Fire Fighters! The Few, the Proud and the Brave

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AuthorHouse, Jan 12, 2007 - History - 76 pages
The book reflects the training and life on the first thirty female fire officers that were selected to undergo training in the Trinidad and TobagoFire Service. The idea for the book first came to me (Leisa Hamilton) in 2004 when I was having a telephone conversation with one of my female batch and best friend, Lisa St. Rose - Folkes (we remained friends since 1992). We were talking about the struggles that we the females face and have gone through each day and are still going through with no proper recognition in the job. Lisa St. Rose - Folkes wish was, "if the females can have their own "Brigade" (Fire Service)". I got where she was coming from immediately.
I had recently completed, a thesis, though it's not a book, but it led me to cover social research, so I sought to conduct interviews with the remaining batches and some of our male colleagues to gather their views of the females more so the first batch.
The book begins with a historical background, the selection, the training and ending with a small biography or profile of each of the females that were interviewed. At this time it was difficult to get the assistance of everyone as we are scattered all over Trinidad and Tobagoand elsewhere.
One may gather that it is difficult for females who are assertive, independent, intelligent, and strong willed to survive in this male dominated field of work. Some may or may not talk about their experiences as there may be fear as one remains in this field and for their prospects for promotions. As to date there are no promoted female officers. Victimization and discrimination remains a crucial factor as there are some Senior Officers who micro manages, and who cannot think and use their initiatives as they themselves live and work in fear and contends with doing as he says.
As the female officers remain oppressed, we are left without a neutral body to attend to the needs of women.

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About the author (2007)

Leisa Hamilton: A Profile

 

Leisa Hamilton was born in the beautiful fishing village of Plymouth, one of the villages' of Tobago in l971.

 

I attended the Plymouth Anglican School, then the Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive School and Bishop's High School.

 

Upon leaving school the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service was enlisting women for the first time. I was encouraged by my mother to try out. Success came at the entrance examination and later on 1st December 1992 I was enlisted to be a trainee at the Chaguaramas training School.

 

The training was very difficult and for me and my comrades from Tobago we had to embark on a new place that is Trinidad to both live and train for the time.

 

Nevertheless all women had to make remarkable adjustments in their life structures and at the same time show the rest that it was worthwhile enlisting women in the service in the first place.

 

We passed out on 26th June 1993 and went to work at various stations throughout Trinidad and Tobago. My first station was Head quarters Whrighston Road - Port - Of Spain. However, from 1994 I worked in the Tobago Division ever since.

 

At Tobago working was more difficult than Trinidad as officers in Tobago believe that they must pressure you at work creating a hostile work environment.

 

However, I weathered the storm and was able to go forward. In 19981 successfully completed the Physical Training Instructors' Course and in 2002 was awarded the most outstanding student in the Emergency Care Programme. Also I am the holder of an Associate of Arts degree in Labour Studies.

 

This Labour Studies education has assisted me in functioning as an Executive officer in the Association (union) for the past three years. I have recently completed a Double Major degree in Bachelors of Arts at the National Labor College (NLC), Silver Spring, Maryland.

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