TRAILBLAZER: Michelle Prince at her first hazard reduction burn.
TRAILBLAZER: Michelle Prince at her first hazard reduction burn. Pauline Prince

Michelle fired up to join rural brigade

For most of her life, Michelle Prince has had a strong association with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

Now, she has finally taken the step of joining them in their work.

"I'm excited, because it's been a big part of my life for so long,” Michelle said.

At only six months of age, her parents started bringing her along to meetings with the Hatton Vale/Summerholm Rural Fire Brigade.

As she got older, she began to actively help out, assisting with catering, and even manning the information table for other rural brigades, such as the Gatton Springdale branch.

In 2012, her family endured the misfortune of losing 60 acres of their land to fire, and helped firefighters defend their property.

This gave Michelle a firsthand insight into the challenges and dangers that come with the job.

"I was worried about our livestock, but knew the firefighters would do their best to protect what they could.”

Now 16 years old, and having already contributed so much of her time on the sidelines, Michelle has officially become the newest junior member of the Lockyer Waters Rural Fire Brigade, a group she has also assisted in the past.

Michelle said that she was eager to pursue the other qualifications that are available to her now that she's an official member of a brigade.

The Lockyer Waters RFB are a small group, with about twenty members altogether, but are steadfastly dedicated to making sure people stay safe this fire season.

"I've been helping out a lot in the background, and I'm excited to be involved in the actual fighting of fires,” Michelle said.

Fire season in Queensland is quickly approaching, and fire brigades are always in need of more recruits and volunteers like Michelle to keep their areas safe.

Anyone who can help is encouraged to contact their local fire brigade.