Dennis Dooshima is doing so passionately what a lot of people would give second thoughts to. Her personal experience and love or humanitarian work led her to sign up as a fireman. As risky as that sounds, this is Dennis’ 2nd year on the job and she is loving it. She talks about her life as a female firefighter in Nigeria.
A typical day on the field
Tasking and challenging because no event of fire is the same. When there’s fire in a building, everybody runs out but we the firemen go in, rescue and put out fire. It’s really not an easy job to do.
The best thing about your job
The best part of the job for me is knowing that I am doing my part to make a difference. With all the negatives people tend to attach to us, we’re on ground to do some good, whether paid or volunteer and that is what this job is all about. There will never be a better feeling than knowing you did your part in saving someone’s life, possessions or home.
The most challenging thing as a firefighter
Witnessing all kinds of tragedies, ranging from fire to cardiac arrests, watching citizens’ homes burn, knowing someone is inside and it’s too late for them, watching a local business that you patronize burning, witnessing the deaths of friends in vehicle accidents, deaths of elderly neighbours etc. We see things that the general public tries to put in the back of their minds. We know it’s there but we try not to think of it.
Secondly, the attitude of the general public like the dirty looks, obstructing our fire engine and hand gestures you get when responding to calls in heavy traffic. I swear, some of them think we are just out with red lights and siren wailing on a pleasure drive just to disturb them and/ or make them late.
Challenges you face as a woman fire fighter in Nigeria
Actually, compared to the other armed forces and uniform jobs out there, the risk firemen go through is extremely high so there’s this, ‘it’s a man’s occupation’. Also, there’s a tendency to often think that women’s physique or psychology hasn’t quite gotten what it takes to be at the front line.
Where you would like to be in 5 years
I want to be the best at what I do and I want to keep working here to enable me have opportunities to develop my skills, take on interesting projects and work with people I can really learn from. Some of the most innovative thinkers in the industry work here and that’s a big reason why I would love to build a career here.
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