13 September 2017
Longest serving female fire-fighter with the Harare Fire Services Department Agnes Chinzvende says she seeks to motivate other women to join the department.
The 35-year-old, now a fire-fighter for 11 years, said she feels like a man once she puts on fire-fighting tunic.
“I am as good as any man who is in the department. I feel more like a hero because I have broken new ground. As a female pioneer, I feel it is my obligation and duty to encourage other women to join the department.
“Women can also be leaders in this department because I also lead other men. I perform any duty that can be performed by men, from driving fire engines to firefighting” said Chinzvende.
The mother of three said women should not be scared to join her in the department.
“I have attended life threatening missions and have been involved in saving lives with my team. It is a risky adventure each time you go out to save property or human life because at times fire temperatures will be above 400 degrees celsius and that in itself is life threatening.
“Women need to come and break new ground as there are many opportunities,” added Chinzvende.
Harare mayor councillor Benard Manyenyeni said Chinzvende is evidence that women who take up firefighting ventures “are women enough to take it.”
“For women, firefighting is considered a hazardous occupation but as council, when we see women joining the Fires Services department, it shows they are women enough to take it.
“Recruiting women in this department is a process and they have to be persuaded to come through. We have equal opportunities for both women and men so everyone should be empowered to join any department they want,” said Manyenyeni.