Six firey females - Tobi-Jane Spanos

Six firey females - Tobi-Jane Spanos

Since 2008, Tobi-Jane Spanos has been living and giving to others in the far-north town of Roxby Downs.

When she’s not a Lieutenant 1 at the local CFS brigade, she’s training people on heavy machinery at BHP’s Olympic Dam mine, and to top it off she also assists there as an Emergency Services Volunteer.

Above ground or underground, Tobi-Jane Spanos is always on standby to help those in need.

“I love it here! Sure, I don’t have too much downtime, but that’s my choice. And when that pager goes, off all my friends up here know that I need to head out for a call out.”

The 35-year-old moved to Roxby 16 years ago and was instantly taken by the region, her job, and the Emergency Services sector.

“At the CFS, we could be responding to truck fires, vehicle accidents, stranded tourists along the highway and bushfires – you name it. Sometimes that means two and a half to three hours, just to get to a job,” Tobi-Jane said.

To help her along the way and to progress her career, Tobi-Jane undertook essential CFS training for Road Crash Rescue, Breathing Apparatus and HazMat (hazardous materials).

Having these skills under my belt has meant I could move up the ranks to Lieutenant 1 and be part of bigger events and campaigns.

“I have been part of a strike team to fight fires in the APY Lands for several days. I also assisted our colleagues at the other mining towns of Coober Pedy and Andamooka,” she said. 

Tobi-Jane also has the support of her partner and fur child Hurley - a devoted German Shepherd, who even comes to visit her at the station.

“If only he knew how to do admin though!” she said.

When it’s time to head underground for her week on at BHP, Tobi-Jane takes on the role of specialist trainer for employees using complex equipment like rock breakers and vehicles capable of carrying loads of up to 60 tonnes.

“Some people say living in a remote town or working down a mine can get lonely, but I’m lucky because I get to be with people, train them and get them out of their comfort zone,” she said.

And if there is an emergency or incident unfolding at the mine, Tobi-Jane is once again, ready to help in her capacity as an Emergency Services Officer.

“I’ll always say yes to a job and yes, it’s a bit of a juggling act between work and CFS but I handle it pretty well and manage my time.

“I have the best of both worlds,” she said.