Spotlight on Sarah Duff

Spotlight on Sarah Duff - header

Despite never considering herself as a Volunteer Trainer Assessor, after nine years of teaching other volunteer firefighters in the Adelaide Hills, Eden Hills CFS volunteer Sarah Duff has now incorporated training into her career.

27-year-old Sarah Duff successfully completed her Certificate IV in Training last year and splits her time between working as a school teacher, sports coaching, volunteering for Eden Hills CFS and as a Volunteer Trainer Assessor for the CFS. As a shy individual, she said it was challenging to build her confidence as a trainer but is so glad other trainers believed in her.

“I absolutely love it … I think the best part about it is that you keep learning, the trainees teach you things and then you’re able to build confidence in the people that you’re training as well, it’s just so rewarding,” Ms Duff said.

... maybe I can be good at this, maybe I can do something worthwhile here ...

“I think my journey, going from low confidence to starting to see that ‘oh, maybe I can be good at this, maybe I can do something worthwhile here’, I was only able to do that cause a number of trainers invested their time into me, especially when I had really low confidence.”

“It has given me a lot of confidence and skills that I don’t think I could have got any other way. I’m also now training people in my workplace and I’m doing sports coaching in my free time.”

Spotlight on Sarah Duff

Encouraged by other trainers and because she enjoyed the course content, Sarah Duff began volunteering her time to be a training assistant on CFS Breathing Apparatus courses. She said while she’s been involved in training for most of her working career, she still has much to learn and will continue to assist volunteering with the CFS due to the joy it brings her.

“To see a trainee go from really nervous, really unsure of themselves to just bursting with confidence, that sense of achievement you see in them when they finish the course and realise that if I can do this then there’s no telling what else I can do … that is the most rewarding feeling because you never know what sort of path to success you’ve helped put them on,” she said.

In November, the CFS was recognised at the Australian Training Awards as one of the Nation’s top three Large Employers of the Year, after winning the South Australian Training Awards earlier this year. A significant achievement for the CFS given the level of competition across other states and territories and reflects the management and delivery approach undertaken by CFS volunteers and staff in building the capabilities of CFS as a fire and rescue service.

This achievement has been made possible by the dedication and passion of CFS volunteer trainers and staff from across South Australia who develop, deliver, assess, and manage high-quality, nationally recognised training.

The award is a testament to the commitment of CFS volunteer trainers especially, those who give up their time not only volunteering with their brigades but also as a volunteer trainer, learning the material they are teaching and giving up their weekends to teach other volunteers.

“I always thought that the CFS has a really high standard of training delivery as an RTO, but I only had my own experience to base that on, so it’s really cool to have someone on the outside come in and say good job guys, what you’re doing is the highest standard and that’s really exciting and affirming."

27 February 2024