female first responder

From broken bones to First Responder

In 2012, Mechanical Technician Shay Hollins was involved in a horrific car accident that left her with a broken back and bed ridden for over 3 months before she was able to walk again. Shay knew from that moment onwards she would do everything in her power to ensure her safety and that of everyone around her so that no other families would have to go through what her family did. This led her to join the First Responder Team (FRT) at our Port Operations in Western Australia.

We sat down with Shay to hear more about what inspired her to join the FRT and what lessons it has taught her around safety.

What inspired you to become a First Responder?

My father was a Senior Constable for the Western Australian Police Force for 30 years. Growing up he was my biggest influence; I had the pleasure to observe him help people every day whilst both on and off duty and I saw the positive impact he made.

Following my car accident in 2012, as soon as I left the rehabilitation clinic I went and visited the first responders to personally thank them for saving my life. Once I was fully recovered, I joined the Karratha volunteer firefighters brigade as my opportunity to give back and help people the same way they helped me. 

Why are you passionate about being a first responder?  

Being able to be a part of the FRT is especially rewarding to me; the ability to help people, grow my knowledge and put it to work every day on site and off site are what makes it such a great community to be a part of. I am learning every day and challenging myself, it gives me purpose and I love it! 

What lessons have you learned about safety from your experience as a First Responder?

Safety has always been a priority to me not just for myself but everyone around me. Since becoming a First Responder it has opened my eyes to all of the exposures we have around us that we can see but also the dangers that we cannot see. It is easy to become complacent, especially being involved in high-risk work daily, but continuous training with FRT reminds me just how vigilant we must remain. It makes it easier to anticipate potential hazards and constantly prepares me for “worse case scenarios”.