Diversity Profile: Kat Dunnell
When she was working as a scuba diving instructor and swimming with the sharks at Melbourne Aquarium, Kat never dreamed of becoming a fire fighter. It wasn’t until an acquaintance who was a fire fighter suggested it might be the job for her that she decided to apply.
After three attempts at the highly competitive application process, the day Kat finally got into the Metropolitan Fire Brigade stands as one of her proudest moments.
“I enjoy the problem solving and teamwork aspect of it, the camaraderie you get from working closely together and having trust in one another and each other’s abilities,” she said.
Having served her community for over 11 years, Kat wants other women to know that firefighting is an incredibly rewarding and achievable career option for them.
She’s also strongly in favour of fire services reform - partly from her experience on the job, working in a fire station by Melbourne’s antiquated fire boundary; but also due to the fact that she lives in Victoria’s second biggest city Geelong, which is classed as “country” under the current out-dated structure of the Fire Services.
When Kat responds to emergency calls, she does so knowing backup is not always guaranteed from outside of the current Metropolitan Fire District. “All fire fighters want to do their job well and safely for the benefit of the community and so they can go home to their families at the end of each shift.”