Emergency operator for QFRS Firecom Kerrie Buckton, SES volunteer Cheryl Ireland and QAS regional director of operations Michelle Baxter are an inspiration.
Emergency operator for QFRS Firecom Kerrie Buckton, SES volunteer Cheryl Ireland and QAS regional director of operations Michelle Baxter are an inspiration. Allan Reinikka

Dedicated women an inspiration

WEDDING proposals were fairly common in the early days of Michelle Baxter's career.

But the paramedic learnt to laugh them off while she was treating patients who were seeing through what she called "beer goggles".

The flattering gestures have been one of the lighter moments in the mother-of-two's lengthy career with the Queensland Ambulance Service.

Like fellow emergency service workers Kerrie Buckton and Cheryl Ireland, she can tell many anecdotes which could have her listeners in tears of laughter, but many stories which could touch even the hardest heart.

Whether it was the raging bushfires which scorched thousands of hectares of land in 2009, or the 2010/2011 floods which stranded Rockhampton from southern Queensland, these three women were on hand to help.

On the 102nd International Women's Day today it is difficult not to be inspired by these women who dedicate themselves to the community.

They have their moments when they wish they were elsewhere, like Kerrie, who works as Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Firecom officer and auxiliary firefighter in Yeppoon, when she's at the top of a swaying ladder trying to help a cat.

But ultimately their workmates are like their family and giving back to the community is one of the most rewarding parts of their important roles.

SES volunteer of eight years, Cheryl said her heart for the community was something that was in her blood.

She said volunteering and working at Queensland Health was a worthwhile balancing act.

"We've got the utmost respect for the emergency services... we are assisting them," the humble mother and grandmother said.

Michelle will soon receive an Ambulance Service Medal for her 17 years of hard work.

After years of turning down proposals, except the one from her husband who works as an intensive care paramedic, it could be said that she is literally married to the job.

 

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

  • IWD is held on March 8 across the world to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women
  • It was proposed in 1910 by a German woman and the first IWD was held on March 19, 1911


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